Advertising’s Bumpy Transition (and Why It Matters to You)

When the Web was young, marketers like Yahoo said to P&G and Ford, “buy our banner ads, they cost about the same as a magazine ad, but people can click on them as a bonus.” And so banner ads at the beginning were incredibly lucrative—easy to make, sell them for a lot. Today, banner ads might sell for a tenth that, or, if we count ads on Facebook and the like, as little as 1 percent of the cost of a magazine ad on a per person basis. But of course, it’s not a fair comparison

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