Web Ads: Lots of Impressions, Little Value

Newsflash: People are getting exposed to a lot of advertising on the Web. How much? One measure: comScore co-founder Gian Fulgoni says the Internet is more than twice as many ad impressions than TV.

But this is nothing to brag about. It means the Web is bombarding its users with low-value ad units that may in fact be declining in their effectiveness. Fulgoni says online accounts for 17% of time spent with media and only 7% of the U.S. advertising marketplace.

The thesis of just about every Web advertising business is that those numbers will rationalize over time. But it won’t happen by itself. Fulgoni says, unsurprisingly, that better metrics will help: He wants to deemphasize click-counting and focus more on the long-term impact of brand messages, kind of like TV. Sounds good, if unattainable, to us. In the meantime another suggestion: How about running fewer crummy ads?

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