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Human Development - Advertising

Internet advertising

Crooks, cronies and brilliance

Internet advertising is the new advertising medium. While some consider it no more than that, a new advertising medium or channel, the internet is not wholly the same as the other, more traditional, advertising methods (see Advertising methods).

For one, it is a faster medium. The speed of the net and the speed with which it can change is astonishing and, more importantly, virtually uncontrollable. With the traditional media, if a company, television station, or government department for that matter, wants to take any advertising message off the air, it can be done fairly quickly and the message will be gone.

On the net these messages get stored locally on millions of computers, even when the original has been taken off. And it is practically impossible to erase all these copies. So internet advertising may benefit the advertiser longer than traditional methods or channels. It also adds a layer of responsibility for the advertiser. Mistakes and false advertising can be exposed and cover-ups are much more difficult.

Note: We are not in favor of a search engine that searches through your computer for information and documents. And this is one of the reasons why.

This makes the net also much more susceptible to propaganda than any other medium in history. (see Advertising versus Propaganda).

Radio, and later television, have been the most powerful advertising media of the past eight decades. Along with the printed press, such as newspapers and magazines, which used to be the primary advertising methods, the technology based advertising methods of radio and television have influenced billions of people to accept, trust and want products and to remain loyal to these products. And especially, to remember who made these products.

The internet as an advertising medium is no exception to this. Companies still expect the same behavior from consumers especially brand loyalty. But on the net this is not so easy.


One of the main differences is that television and radio, as well as the printed press, are advertising methods which can be fairly highly localized. There is really no such thing as a local internet - not yet anyway. And if the net is to remain free, local means global, and that is how it should be.

And so advertising methods need to reflect the true nature of the net as a global market place. This means that traditional advertising methods are not necessarily the best advertising methods when used on the internet.

As much as they would like it to be, the world does not revolve around a couple of hundred of big multinational companies, it still revolves around millions and millions of smaller ones and that too is how it should be. (See also eCommerce and Robots in the workplace.)

It may be true that we need organizations that can provide us with goods or services on a large scale, such as electricity, water, communications and so forth, but the privatization of these services has in many cases only led to a higher price and a reduction in quality. Not to mention a monopoly by some companies on these services or goods. This privatization development is seen as a step backwards by many consumers. Is this what we want on the net? No choice?

Is the net to be reduced to a couple of shopping streets owned by multinationals where we have to do all our shopping, as is happening in many towns and cities around the world? The answer is simply "No!".

The net is our last, and only, hope for a truly free global trade and it needs to stay that way. Advertising on the net needs to reflect this global channel. (See also Advertising Practices.)


Multi-layered advertising web

The net is a multi-layered web. Penetration of all layers takes time. Older systems will contain older messages and it is equally impossible to update all the systems at the same time.

For example: new and fast sites that spring up and are seen by millions in a short space of time will miss all of the older systems seen by many more millions for a much longer time. And when these new and fast sites have burned themselves out, the majority of internet users - and consumers - will never even have seen these messages or ads. But ads placed on older sites will be seen for another ten to fifteen years from now. That is one way how the net differs in advertising from traditional media.

Two, the controls that govern traditional advertising methods do not always apply to internet advertising. For example, it is much more difficult to reach your intended target market.


Despite the idea of free global trade this is far from reality. Too many interests at stake and the war for economics has barely begun. All Free Trade Agreements seem to benefit but a few rather than many.


Internet advertising

Think you've reached your target market? Think again.
On the net local=global and the majority of your customers may be somewhere else entirely than where you had assumed. And just advertising with the big guys may make you miss this market altogether!
Ads by Links999 - a better deal.


Advertising versus propaganda

As an advertising medium the internet is by far becoming the most flexible, powerful and influential of all the advertising media. Witness the amounts of money spent on internet advertising and startup companies over the past five years and it is clear that those with (big) money are of the same conviction.

But the net is a fickle medium, much more so than television, radio or the printed press. Success today is no guarantee of success tomorrow. On the contrary, the possibility of failure is much more likely.

Advertising can quickly become propaganda, serving the needs of the few by the use of the many.

Advertising versus propaganda

Propaganda Techniques, FreeRepublic. An excellent and detailed overview of the different propaganda techniques used today and in the past.
Recognizing propaganda techniques and Errors of Faulty Logic, Cuesta College San Luis Obispo County Community College, CA (USA)
Critical thinking Lessons - Propaganda techniques, Santa Rosa Junior College, CA (USA)



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