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Old 05-28-2003, 04:41 PM   #80
Elemental Thought
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: BC, Canada
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Steve, that is very true. I've always respected web sites that had the gumption to place some text near their advertisements that inform the user that it is an ad. Dictionary.com has always done that with their "Sponsored link" ads that appear in the dotted-border box near the bottom right.

I like this approach for a couple of reasons. First, it disassociates the web site from the advertisement, so if the ad isn't completely on topic, then the surfer doesn't become confused as to why a gaming site might be selling men's magazine subscriptions. And second, it means that anyone who follows the ad through is truly interested in it. This puts more of the onus on the advertiser to come up with interesting ads and good bargains, which is how other traditional media ads work. Of course, it has disadvantages too, like training your users not to look at that spot on your site.

I'd like to see the day when the "internet beer ad" is an art form, just like tv beer ads now. Absolut has started pioneering that field with their flash ads. They are catchy and fun (a lot of them show up at The Onion), and continue the Absolut advertising tradition.
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