An “Au contraire” for the Ad Contrarian

A few months ago Business Insider published their list of The 22 Most Influential Advertising Bloggers.  The list includes blogs from agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy, author Seth Godin and my personal favorite – What Happens in Media Planning.  Another blogger on the list that got my attention was The Ad Contrarian.  After reading a few posts, I started to get slightly annoyed at his take on the interactive marketing landscape.  According to this agency executive “marketers continue to pour billions of dollars into this black hole (display interactive)” and that “there are agencies who continue to hustle these ads to clients with a combination of digital jive talk and misleading data.”

Those are pretty strong statements.  It tends to make the reader believe that agencies have no strategy when it comes to recommending interactive advertising for their clients.  Personally, as a media director I take offense at that.  Our media recommendations are crafted to help our clients achieve their marketing objectives.

I get that this blogger’s online persona is that of the “skeptic.”  However, I don’t think that display advertising is anything to be skeptical of anymore.   As an advertising agency it is our responsibility to educate our clients on what display advertising can do for them as well as manage expectations.  If we only talk about the clicks associated with these campaigns, our clients will be disappointed.  Exposure to banner ads (even if consumers don’t click) can increase brand awareness and positively influence purchase intent.  That is something that we have proven with research.

If you need more convincing and want to hear more from experts, be sure to register for the Digital Marketing Summit being held in Milwaukee on September 26th. You can ask them personally how long this fly-by-night online advertising thing will last.