Recommended reading: All change for advertising

Dec. 07, 2007 | by Antony Mayfield

If you’re thinking about how advertising is changing at the moment, can I recommend a little light reading for this Friday?

First off, social network academic Danah Boyd of Stanford kicked off a fascinating discussion earlier this week when she posted a typically provocative and insightful piece entitled: “Who clicks on ads? And what might this mean?”.

Her hypothesis is disturbing.

I suspect that heavy ad clickers in social network sites and other social media are more likely to trend lower in both economic and social capital than the average user. Unfortunately, I don’t have the data to test these hypotheses at all. (Does anyone? Are there any studies on class dynamics and ad clicking?)

A week on and the comments debate on her blog has not yielded any strong evidence to counter her idea. I find this surprising: is there really no study of the demographics of people who click on ads?

Anyway, once you’ve chewed that over, I would direct you to IBM’s recent study, based on surveys of 2,400 consumers and 80 advertising experts, breezily headlined “The end of advertising as we know it”.

The study predicts “greater disruption for the advertising industry in the next five years than occurred in the previous 50″. In itself that’s not news: the only certainty for the industry in the near term is profound change.

Happy reading – and thinking…

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