Surprise news – advertising sells – and the Americans lead the way
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Surprise news – advertising sells – and the Americans lead the way

Surprise news – advertising sells – and the Americans lead the way

Posted on 18th June 2019

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The caveman who first decided to ask the Neolithic Times if they could scratch some copy into the slate that made up the first edition, telling the readers that a new gadget called a wheel could be had from the store on the corner of Mammoth Street, probably didn’t know what he had started.

Fast forward many centuries and the development of the newspaper industry meant that our caveman friend’s ancestors could advertise to their hearts’ content: everything from 1950s hot water bottles that were so strong they wouldn’t break when an elephant stood on them (called Ronklete – the hot water bottles, not the elephant), to the luxury 1960s car that was so quiet that the loudest noise came from the electric clock (Rolls Royce). 

Today, the newspaper industry is struggling, because technology means advertising has moved online. Moreover, there are, of course, many other different forms of media on which enterprising companies can advertise, from key-rings to petrol pumps and from stair risers to hot air balloons, and, of course, a plethora of digital platforms.  That said, most advertisers are keen to use the media that get their products in front of the greatest number of relevant people, which is, again, where technology comes in.

Consequently, it’s no surprise to read on CNET that e-retailers are now selling advertising on their websites and mobile apps.  Although they had previously been wary of this, largely because they were concerned that their customers would be distracted and also because big ads might slow the page loading. More worryingly, instead of buying the retailers’ own products they would click through to someone else’s goods or services. 

Now that Amazon has demonstrated conclusively that ads/sponsored listings can generate humungous amounts of money, others, especially in the US, are getting in on the act.  As CNET tells us, “Following Amazon's lead, all these companies (the likes of Walmart and Ebay) are trying to find ways to grow their piece of the digital ad market. The online retailer now takes up 8.8% of the $129 billion digital ad market in the US, making it the third biggest ad platform after Google (37.2%) and Facebook (22.1%), according to eMarketer.”

In other words, we’re going to see even more ads – everywhere. Starting with CNET, whose website demonstrates the pervasive nature of modern advertising, while remaining oblivious to the irony of the headline that is surrounded by ads!

Michael Phair, Be-IT


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