The Economist writes that more people are rejecting traditional sales messages, presenting the ad industry with big challenges:
The advertising industry is passing through one of the most disorienting periods in its history. This is due to a combination of long-term changes, such as the growing diversity of media, and the arrival of new technologies, notably the internet. Consumers have become better informed than ever before, with the result that some of the traditional methods of advertising and marketing simply no longer work.
There are plenty of alternatives to straightforward advertising, including a myriad of marketing and communications services, some of which are called below-the-line advertising. They range from public relations to direct mail, consumer promotions (such as coupons), in-store displays, business-to-business promotions (like paying a retailer for shelf-space), telemarketing, exhibitions, sponsoring events, product placements and more.
Separately, AOL bought Advertising.com for $435 million. Advertising.com accumulates data from Web sites, search providers and e-mail publishers to give advertisers a wide-ranging group of online marketing alternatives. AOL said its advertising inventory, combined with Advertising.com’s network, will enable advertisers to appeal to more than 140 million Internet customers and allow AOL to offer advertisers more customized services.