Will Advertising Fail?
April 1st, 2009
Posted by Jose Villa
There is a heated debate underway in the blogosphere on the very basis of our entire industry – will advertising, particularly on the Internet, survive?
A professor (Eric Clemons, Professor of Operations and Information Management) from my alma mater, The Wharton School of Business, claims that paid advertising as we’ve all come to know it and make a living from, will inevitably fail, because:
1. Consumers do not trust advertising
2. Consumers do not want to view advertising
3. Consumers do not need advertising
While 600+ angry responses ensued, one particularly thoughtful debate developed between Professor Clemons and Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of SearchEngineLand, regarding the future and sustainability of search engine marketing on Google, Yahoo! etc.
I highly encourage that you read Professor Clemons’ original post, and the debate between Professor Clemons and Danny Sullivan.
For one, I think this is a very healthy debate for our industry to be having. It is during recessionary times that everything, including fundamental business models, need to be re-evaluated, optimized and/or abandoned.
However, I was struck by the omission of two key assumptions that most everyone has seemed to miss in this debate – the intelligence and savvy of consumers to:
1. Trust effective, honest and compelling advertising for products or services they are interested in and,
2. View and find value in ads that are relevant to their needs or wants
Professor Clemons doesn’t seem to see that. Those of us in advertising give much more credit to the intelligence of our audiences and the value of the products and services we are selling.
What do you think?
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