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These Desperate Advertisement Times

Some believe "confidence is creeping back on the menu" at adlands lunch tables, which should also benefit of the starving media hounds so dependent on those almighty ad masters in the end, but, so far, not much evidence of that is forthcoming.

For one, as the first media company I've seen, Metro International posted second quarter earnings today - and it made for pretty gloomy reading. I'll return to that later, but, in the meantime, here's a quick look at what it actually looks like out there in media-ad-land: 

Whenever I'm forced to use news sites - I get most of my news via RSS and Twitter, but unfortunately the latter often takes me through to news sites - I often find myself thinking that advertisement also comes with news content these days. Sometimes I'm even so turned off by wading through all the advertisement I give up trying to read that particular article.

I know these are desperate time, but with news sites turning their frontpages into ads; running whole page ads you have to watch before you get to the article and inundating you with pop-up ads in the form of cars, planes and other forms of creative advertisement running over the text when you finally get to the article you've got to wonder.

You'd think at least they earn good money when the ad takeup is so good as on the site featured below, but rumours have it that, at least in the Norwegian market, the competition for the advertiser's gold is so stiff that rebates are massive. My sources tell me one of the country's big media companies offer as much as 80 per cent rebate on listed advertisement prices. 80 per cent, that sounds like madness to my ears.


Now I don't follow the Dutch advertisement market closely, other than reading certain media company reports, but I had a hard time reading this article and would've given up if it wasn't for the topic:


With both these news sites the advertisement saturation is such that it's actually hard to avoid clicking on ads, Hans Kullin has looked at the all too similar situation in Sweden and Denmark.


A decent "Ad. blocker" will take the aggro out of ad-heavy sites, and make your machine securer. If you use Firefox then Adblocker-plus seems to be the geek's favourite https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1865. Opera does it out the tin: just right-click on a page and select "block content". Internet Explorer and Safari may require some googling and experimentation, or a switch to a better browser.

So your bonus question is: how will news sites earn revenue if this sort of content filtering becomes mainstream? My inner dystopian sci-fi writer (whaddaya mean you don't have an inner dystopian sci-fi writer) is hoping for product placement; e.g. "...the fifteen survivors of the Bardale train crash, who were all given Super Cola—the Cola you can count on to refresh you in the toughest situation—were transferred to St John's hospital where three remain on life support..." ;-)

Thanks for the tip. Changed PCs last month and haven't customised Firefox properly yet, adblocker might be good idea. Don't think your inner dystopian sci-fi writer is all that dystopian though, we're not that far from the situation you describe. I've seen several attempts at, and discussions about, this kind of text ads or contextualised ads, though, combined with the obession with SEO, the sentence might be more likely to read something like "...the fifteen survivors of the Bardale train crash, who were all given Britney Spears' favourite thirst quencher Super Cola —the Cola you can count on to refresh you in the toughest situation— were transferred to St John's hospital where three remain on life support..." Or something in that vein;-)

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