Morgan Stanley reckons online advertising is worth $50bn a year in America alone, and that smartphones will rapidly become the platform of choice. According to the analyst's Internet Trends report smartphones will outsell feature phones next year, but the crystal ball-gazing comes with a plethora of facts and figures about both …
Online advertising is never going to be as big as they think in the UK
It's okay for these consultants to predict that online advertising is set to soar but in the UK, any advertising directed at an individual is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. And in Oct 2008, the Information Commissioner's Office were of the opinion that online advertising - advertising that takes place in an individual's logged in area of a website, is direct marketing. This was confirmed in 2009. So in the UK, we can simply opt-out to any marketing that appears in our online account areas. As such, the revenue from UK online advertising is never going to be the big money earner that some predict.
What proportion of these 'logged in areas' are covered by terms such as the ones below? Good luck with opting out of that.
"17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.
17.2 The manner, mode and extent of advertising by Google on the Services are subject to change without specific notice to you.
17.3 In consideration for Google granting you access to and use of the Services, you agree that Google may place such advertising on the Services."
So can we see the equivalent survey showing just how much revenue these companies make on the back on this advertising?
I would assert that most of this cash gets spunked to the ad brokering/web platforms by "marketing executives" because "everyone else is doing it" rather than on the back of any serious ROI calculations.
Me... I just ignore it.