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Online advertising, also known as online marketing, Internet advertising, digital advertising or web advertising, is a form of
marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of adv ...

marketing
and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. Many consumers find online advertising disruptive and have increasingly turned to
ad blocking Ad blocking or ad filtering is a software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast to Computer hardware, physical hardware, from ...
for a variety of reasons. When software is used to do the purchasing, it is known as programmatic advertising. Online advertising includes email marketing,
search engine marketing Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected compu ...
(SEM),
social media marketing Social media marketing is the use of social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Cr ...
, many types of
display advertising Digital display advertising is graphic advertising on Internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communica ...
(including
web banner A web banner or banner ad is a Online Advertising, form of advertising on the World Wide Web delivered by an ad server. This form of online advertising entails embedding an advertisement into a web page. It is intended to attract web traffic, t ...
advertising), and
mobile advertising Mobile advertising is a form of advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of Marketing''. M ...
. Like other advertising media, online advertising frequently involves a publisher, who integrates advertisements into its online content, and an advertiser, who provides the advertisements to be displayed on the publisher's content. Other potential participants include
advertising agencies An advertising agency, often referred to as a creative agency or an ad agency, is a business dedicated to creating, planning, and handling advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal ...
who help generate and place the ad copy, an
ad server Ad serving describes the technology and service that places Advertising, advertisements on Website, Web sites. Ad serving technology companies provide software to Web sites and advertisers to serve ads, count them, choose the ads that will make the ...
which technologically delivers the ad and tracks statistics, and
advertising affiliate Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more Affiliate (commerce), affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. Structure The industry has four ...
s who do independent promotional work for the advertiser. In 2016, Internet advertising revenues in the United States surpassed those of
cable television Cable television is a system of delivering television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two o ...
and
broadcast television Broadcast Broadcasting is the distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notio ...
. In 2017, Internet advertising revenues in the United States totaled $83.0 billion, a 14% increase over the $72.50 billion in revenues in 2016. And research estimates from 2019's online advertising spend puts it at $125.2 billion in the United States, some $54.8 billion higher than the spend on television ($70.4 billion). Many common online advertising practices are controversial and, as a result, have been increasingly subject to regulation. Online
ad revenue Advertising revenue is the monetary income that individuals and businesses earn from displaying paid advertisements on their websites, social media channels, or other platforms surrounding their internet-based content. In September 2018, the Unit ...
s also may not adequately replace other publishers' revenue streams. Declining ad revenue has led some publishers to place their content behind
paywall A paywall is a method of restricting access to content (media), content, with a purchase or a subscription business model, paid subscription, especially news. Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers started implementing paywalls on their websites ...
s.


History

In early days of the Internet, online advertising was mostly prohibited. For example, two of the predecessor networks to the Internet,
ARPANET The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was the first wide-area packet-switching In telecommunications, packet switching is a method of grouping data that is transmitted over a digital network into '' packets''. Packets are ...
and
NSFNet The National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) was a program of coordinated, evolving projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the United States government Indepen ...
, had "acceptable use policies" that banned network "use for commercial activities by for-profit institutions". The NSFNet began phasing out its commercial use ban in 1991.


Email

The first widely publicized example of online advertising was conducted via electronic mail. On 3 May 1978, a marketer from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation),
Gary Thuerk Image:spammed-mail-folder.png, An email inbox containing a large amount of spam messages Spamming is the use of messaging systems to send multiple unsolicited messages (spam) to large numbers of recipients for the purpose of commercial advertising, ...
, sent an email to most of the ARPANET's American west coast users, advertising an open house for a new model of a DEC computer. Despite the prevailing acceptable use policies, electronic mail marketing rapidly expanded and eventually became known as "
spam Spam may refer to: * Spam (food) Spam (stylized as SPAM) is a brand of canning, canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation. It was introduced by Hormel in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. By 2003 ...
." The first known large-scale non-commercial spam message was sent on 18 January 1994 by an
Andrews University Andrews University is a private Seventh-day Adventist university in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Founded in 1874 as Battle Creek College, it was the first higher education facility started by Seventh-day Adventists and is the flagship university ...

Andrews University
system administrator, by
cross-post Crossposting is the act of posting the same message to multiple information channels; Internet forum, forums, mailing lists, or newsgroups. This is distinct from multiposting, which is the posting of separate identical messages, individually, to ea ...
ing a religious message to all
USENET Usenet () is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up Dial-up Internet access is a form of Internet access Internet access is the ability of ...
newsgroups. In January 1994 Mark Eberra started the first email marketing company for opt in email list under the domain Insideconnect.com. He also started the Direct Email Marketing Association to help stop unwanted email and prevent spam. Four months later,
Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel Laurence A. Canter (b. June 24, 1953) and Martha S. Siegel (April 9, 1948 – September 24, 2000) were partners in a husband-and-wife firm of lawyers who posted the first massive commercial Usenet spamming, spam on April 12, 1994. This event came ...
, partners in a law firm, broadly promoted their legal services in a USENET posting titled "Green Card Lottery – Final One?" Canter and Siegel's Green Card USENET spam raised the profile of online advertising, stimulating widespread interest in advertising via both Usenet and traditional email. More recently, spam has evolved into a more industrial operation, where
spammers This is a list of individuals and organizations noteworthy for engaging in bulk electronic spamming, either on their own behalf or on behalf of others. It is not a list of all spammers, only those whose actions have attracted substantial independent ...
use armies of virus-infected computers (
botnet A botnet is a number of Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected s that uses the (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ' that consists of private, public, academic, business, ...

botnet
s) to send spam remotely.


Display ads

Online banner advertising began in the early 1990s as page owners sought additional revenue streams to support their content. Commercial online service Prodigy displayed banners at the bottom of the screen to promote
Sears Sears, Roebuck and Co., commonly known as Sears, is an American chain of department stores founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1892, and reincorporated by Richard Sears and Julius Rosenwald in 1906. Formerly based at ...

Sears
products. The first clickable web ad was sold by
Global Network Navigator The Global Network Navigator (GNN) was the first commercial web publication and the first web site to offer clickable advertisements. GNN was launched in May 1993, as a project of the technical publishing company O'Reilly Media, then known as O'Rei ...
in 1993 to a Silicon Valley law firm. In 1994, web banner advertising became mainstream when
HotWired ''Hotwired'' (1994–1999) was the first commercial online magazine, launched on October 27, 1994. Although it was part of the print magazine Wired (magazine), Wired, ''Hotwired'' carried original content. History Andrew Anker, Wired (magazi ...
, the online component of
Wired Magazine ''Wired'' (stylized as ''WIRED'') is a monthly American magazine, published in print and online magazine, online editions, that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics. Owned by Condé Nast, it is headquarte ...
, and
Time Warner Warner Media, LLC ( traded as WarnerMedia, but stylized as WarnerMedia; formerly known as Time Warner from 1990 to 2001 and again from 2003 to 2018; from 2001 to 2003, AOL Time Warner and from 1972 to 1990, Warner Communications) is an Americ ...
's
Pathfinder (website) Pathfinder was a landing page with links to various Time Inc. websites. In its initial form, Pathfinder was one of the first Internet portals, created as Time Warner Warner Media, LLC, doing business as WarnerMedia, is an American multinati ...
sold banner ads to
AT&T AT&T Inc. is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a s ...

AT&T
and other companies. The first AT&T ad on HotWired had a 44% click-through rate, and instead of directing clickers to AT&T's website, the ad linked to an online tour of seven of the world's most acclaimed art museums.


Search ads

GoTo.com (renamed
Overture Overture (from French language, French ''ouverture'', "opening") in music was originally the instrumental introduction to a ballet, opera, or oratorio in the 17th century. During the early Romantic era, composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Beet ...
in 2001, and acquired by
Yahoo! Yahoo (, styled as yahoo''!'') is an American web services The term Web service (WS) is either: * a service offered by an electronic device to another electronic device, communicating with each other via the World Wide Web, or * a server run ...
in 2003) created the first search advertising keyword auction in 1998.
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
launched its "AdWords" (now renamed Google Ads) search advertising program in 2000 and introduced quality-based ranking allocation in 2002, which sorts search advertisements by a combination of bid price and searchers' likeliness to click on the ads.


Recent trends

More recently, companies have sought to merge their advertising messages into editorial content or valuable services. Examples include
Red Bull Red Bull is an energy drink sold by Red Bull GmbH, an Austria, Austrian company created in 1987. Red Bull has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with 7.5 billion cans sold in a year (). Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich ...
's Red Bull Media House streaming
Felix Baumgartner Felix Baumgartner (; born 20 April 1969) is an Austrian skydiver, daredevil, and BASE jumper. He is best known for jumping to Earth from a Gas balloon, helium balloon from the stratosphere on 14 October 2012 and landing in New Mexico, United ...
's jump from space online,
Coca-Cola Coca-Cola, or Coke, is a carbonated Carbonation is the chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Classically, chemical A chemical sub ...

Coca-Cola
's online magazines, and
Nike Nike often refers to: * Nike (mythology) In Greek mythology, Nike (; grc, Νίκη, lit=victory, Ancient Greek phonology, ancient: , Modern Greek phonology, modern: ) was a goddess who personified victory in any field including art, music, war, a ...
's free applications for performance tracking. Advertisers are also embracing social media and mobile advertising; mobile ad spending has grown 90% each year from 2010 to 2013. According to
Ad Age ''Ad Age'' (known as ''Advertising Age'' until 2017) is a global media brand that publishes news, analysis, and data on marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentia ...
Datacenter analysis, in 2017 over half of agency revenue came from digital work.


Delivery methods


Display advertising

Display advertising Digital display advertising is graphic advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; ...
conveys its advertising message visually using text, logos, animations, videos, photographs, or other graphics. Display advertising is commonly used on social media, websites with slots for advertisements, and in real life. In real life, display advertising can be a sign in front of a building or a billboard alongside a highway. The goal of display advertising is to obtain more traffic, clicks, or popularity for the advertising brand or organization. Display advertisers frequently
target TARGET2 (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System) is the real-time gross settlementReal-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money Image:National ...
users with particular traits to increase the ads' effect. Online advertisers (typically through their ad servers) often use
cookies A cookie is a baked Baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat, typically in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is gra ...
, which are unique identifiers of specific computers, to decide which ads to serve to a particular consumer. Cookies can track whether a user left a page without buying anything, so the advertiser can later retarget the user with ads from the site the user visited. As advertisers collect data across multiple external websites about a user's online activity, they can create a detailed profile of the user's interests to deliver even more targeted advertising. This aggregation of data is called
behavioral targeting Targeted advertising is a form of advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of Marketing''. ...
. Advertisers can also target their audience by using contextual to deliver display ads related to the content of the web page where the ads appear. Retargeting, behavioral targeting, and contextual advertising all are designed to increase an advertiser's
return on investment Return on investment (ROI) or return on costs (ROC) is a ratio between net income In business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods an ...
, or ROI, over untargeted ads. Advertisers may also deliver ads based on a user's suspected geography through
geotargeting In geomarketing and internet marketing, geotargeting is the method of delivering different Web content, content to visitors based on their geolocation. This includes country, region/state, city, metro code/zip code, organization, IP address, ISP, or ...
. A user's
IP address An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label such as that is connected to a computer network A computer network is a set of s sharing resources located on or provided by . The computers use common s over to communi ...
communicates some geographic information (at minimum, the user's country or general region). The geographic information from an IP can be supplemented and refined with other proxies or information to narrow the range of possible locations. For example, with mobile devices, advertisers can sometimes use a phone's
GPS The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national ...

GPS
receiver or the location of nearby mobile towers. Cookies and other persistent data on a user's machine may provide help narrowing a user's location further.


Web banner advertising

Web banner A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical system ...
s or
banner ad A web banner or banner ad is a form of advertising on the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical Sociotechnical systems ...
s typically are graphical ads displayed within a web page. Many banner ads are delivered by a
central ad server Ad serving describes the technology and service that places Advertising, advertisements on Website, Web sites. Ad serving technology companies provide software to Web sites and advertisers to serve ads, count them, choose the ads that will make the ...
. Banner ads can use
rich media Interactive media normally refers to products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user's actions by presenting content such as text Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory), any object that can ...
to incorporate video, audio, animations, buttons, forms, or other interactive elements using
Java applet Java applets were small applications written in the Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a ...

Java applet
s,
HTML5 HTML5 is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable from the text, meaning when ...

HTML5
,
Adobe Flash Adobe Flash is a multimedia software platform A computing platform or digital platform is the environment in which a piece of software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that ...
, and other programs.


=Frame ad (traditional banner)

= Frame ads were the first form of web banners. The colloquial usage of "banner ads" often refers to traditional frame ads. Website publishers incorporate frame ads by setting aside a particular space on the web page. The
Interactive Advertising Bureau The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is an advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of ...
's Ad Unit Guidelines proposes standardized pixel dimensions for ad units.


=Pop-ups/pop-unders

= A
pop-up ad Pop-up ads or pop-ups are forms of online advertising Online advertising, also known as online marketing, Internet advertising, digital advertising or web advertising, is a form of marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally ...
is displayed in a new web browser window that opens above a website visitor's initial browser window. A pop-under ad opens a new browser window under a website visitor's initial browser window. Pop-under ads and similar technologies are now advised against by online authorities such as Google, who state that they "do not condone this practice".


=Floating ad

= A floating ad, or overlay ad, is a type of rich media advertisement that appears superimposed over the requested website's content. Floating ads may disappear or become less obtrusive after a pre-set time period.


=Expanding ad

= An expanding ad is a
rich media Interactive media normally refers to products and services on digital computer-based systems which respond to the user's actions by presenting content such as text Text may refer to: Written word * Text (literary theory), any object that can ...
frame ad that changes dimensions upon a predefined condition, such as a preset amount of time a visitor spends on a webpage, the user's click on the ad, or the user's mouse movement over the ad. Expanding ads allow advertisers to fit more information into a restricted ad space.


=Trick banners

= A trick banner is a banner ad where the ad copy imitates some screen element users commonly encounter, such as an operating system message or popular application message, to induce ad clicks. Trick banners typically do not mention the advertiser in the initial ad, and thus they are a form of
bait-and-switch Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud In law, fraud is intent (law), intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate Civil law (common law), civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may s ...
. Trick banners commonly attract a higher-than-average
click-through rate Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific hyperlink, link to the number of total users who view a page, email, or advertisement. It is commonly used to measure the success of an online advertising campaign for a part ...
, but tricked users may resent the advertiser for deceiving them.


=News Feed Ads

= "News Feed Ads", also called "Sponsored Stories", "Boosted Posts", typically exist on social media platforms that offer a steady stream of information updates ("news feed") in regulated formats (i.e. in similar sized small boxes with a uniform style). Those advertisements are intertwined with non-promoted news that the users are reading through. Those advertisements can be of any content, such as promoting a website, a fan page, an app, or a product. Some examples are: Facebook's "Sponsored Stories", LinkedIn's "Sponsored Updates", and Twitter's "Promoted Tweets". This display ads format falls into its own category because unlike banner ads which are quite distinguishable, News Feed Ads' format blends well into non-paid news updates. This format of online advertisement yields much higher click-through rates than traditional display ads.


Display advertising process overview

The process by which online advertising is displayed can involve many parties. In the simplest case, the website publisher selects and serves the ads. Publishers which operate their own advertising departments may use this method. The ads may be outsourced to an advertising agency under contract with the publisher, and served from the advertising agency's servers. Alternatively, ad space may be offered for sale in a bidding market using an
ad exchange An ad exchange is a technology platform that facilitates the buying and selling of media advertising inventory from multiple Advertising network, ad networks. Prices for the inventory are determined through real-time bidding (RTB). The approach is t ...
and real-time bidding. This involves many parties interacting automatically in real time. In response to a request from the user's browser, the publisher content server sends the web page content to the user's browser over the Internet. The page does not yet contain ads, but contains links which cause the user's browser to connect to the publisher ad server to request that the spaces left for ads be filled in with ads. Information identifying the user, such as
cookies A cookie is a baked Baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat, typically in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is gra ...

cookies
and the page being viewed, is transmitted to the publisher ad server. The publisher ad server then communicates with a
supply-side platform A supply-side platform (SSP) or sell-side platform is a technology platform to enable web publishers and Out-of-home advertising#Digital out-of-home, digital out-of-home (DOOH) media owners to manage their advertising inventory, fill it with ads, a ...
server. The publisher is offering ad space for sale, so they are considered the supplier. The supply side platform also receives the user's identifying information, which it sends to a data management platform. At the data management platform, the user's identifying information is used to look up demographic information, previous purchases, and other information of interest to advertisers. Broadly speaking, there are three types of data obtained through such a data management platform: :''First party data'' refers to the data retrieved from
customer relationship management Customer relationship management (CRM) is a process in which a business or other organization administers its interactions with customers, typically using data analysis to study large amounts of information. CRM systems compile data from a range ...
(CRM) platforms, in addition to website and paid media content or cross-platform data. This can include data from customer behaviors, actions or interests. :''Second party data'' refers to an amalgamation of statistics related to cookie pools on external publications and platforms. The data is provided directly from the source (adservers, hosted solutions for social or an analytics platform). It is also possible to negotiate a deal with a particular publisher to secure specific data points or audiences. : : : : : : : : : :''Third party data'' is sourced from external providers and often aggregated from numerous websites. Businesses sell third-party data and are able to share this via an array of distribution avenues. This customer information is combined and returned to the supply side platform, which can now package up the offer of ad space along with information about the user who will view it. The supply side platform sends that offer to an
ad exchange An ad exchange is a technology platform that facilitates the buying and selling of media advertising inventory from multiple Advertising network, ad networks. Prices for the inventory are determined through real-time bidding (RTB). The approach is t ...
. The ad exchange puts the offer out for bid to
demand-side platform A demand-side platform (DSP) is a system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one interface. Real-time bidding for displaying online advertising takes place within th ...
s. Demand side platforms act on behalf of ad agencies, who sell ads which advertise brands. Demand side platforms thus have ads ready to display, and are searching for users to view them. Bidders get the information about the user ready to view the ad, and decide, based on that information, how much to offer to buy the ad space. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, a demand side platform has 10
milliseconds A millisecond (from '' milli-'' and second The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the SI base unit, base unit of time in the International System of Units (SI) (French: Système International d’unités), commonly understood and histor ...
to respond to an offer. The ad exchange picks the winning bid and informs both parties. The ad exchange then passes the link to the ad back through the supply side platform and the publisher's ad server to the user's browser, which then requests the ad content from the agency's ad server. The ad agency can thus confirm that the ad was delivered to the browser. This is simplified, according to the IAB. Exchanges may try to unload unsold ("remnant") space at low prices through other exchanges. Some agencies maintain semi-permanent pre-cached bids with ad exchanges, and those may be examined before going out to additional demand side platforms for bids. The process for mobile advertising is different and may involve mobile carriers and handset software manufacturers.


Interstitial

An interstitial ad displays before a user can access requested content, sometimes while the user is waiting for the content to load. Interstitial ads are a form of
interruption marketingInterruption marketing or outbound marketing is promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, public relations and sales. It is considered to be an annoying version of the traditional way of doing marketing whereby companies focus on ...
.


Text ads

A text ad displays text-based
hyperlink In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and so ...

hyperlink
s. Text-based ads may display separately from a web page's primary content, or they can be embedded by hyperlinking individual words or phrases to the advertiser's websites. Text ads may also be delivered through
email marketing Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to sen ...
or text message marketing. Text-based ads often render faster than graphical ads and can be harder for ad-blocking software to block.


Search engine marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet The Internet (Capitalization of Internet, or internet) is the global system of interconnected compu ...
, or SEM, is designed to increase a website's visibility in
search engine results pages Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a user. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine A search engine is a software system ...
(SERPs). Search engines provide sponsored results and organic (non-sponsored) results based on a web searcher's query. Search engines often employ visual cues to differentiate sponsored results from organic results. Search engine marketing includes all of an advertiser's actions to make a website's listing more prominent for topical keywords. The primary reason behind the rising popularity of Search Engine Marketing has been Google. There were a few companies that had its own PPC and Analytics tools. However, this concept was popularized by Google. Google Ad words was convenient for advertisers to use and create campaigns. And, they realized that the tool did a fair job, by charging only for someone's click on the ad, which reported as the cost-per-click for which a penny was charged. This resulted in the advertisers monitoring the campaign by the number of clicks and were satisfied that the ads could be tracked.


Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website A website (also written as web site) is a collection of web page A web page (or webpage) is a hypertext File:D ...
, or SEO, attempts to improve a website's
organic search In Web search engines, organic search results are the query results which are calculated strictly algorithmically, and not affected by advertiser payments. They are distinguished from various kinds of sponsored results, whether they are explicit pa ...
rankings in SERPs by increasing the website content's relevance to search terms. Search engines regularly update their algorithms to penalize poor quality sites that try to game their rankings, making optimization a moving target for advertisers. Many vendors offer SEO services.


Sponsored search

Sponsored search (also called sponsored links, search ads, or paid search) allows advertisers to be included in the sponsored results of a search for selected keywords. Search ads are often sold via real-time auctions, where advertisers bid on keywords. In addition to setting a maximum price per keyword, bids may include time, language, geographical, and other constraints. Search engines originally sold listings in order of highest bids. Modern search engines rank sponsored listings based on a combination of bid price, expected click-through rate, keyword relevancy and site quality.


Social media marketing

Social media marketing Social media marketing is the use of social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Cr ...
is commercial promotion conducted through
social media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

social media
websites. Many companies promote their products by posting frequent updates and providing special offers through their social media profiles. Videos, interactive quizzes, and sponsored posts are all a part of this operation. Usually these ads are found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.


Mobile advertising

Mobile advertising Mobile advertising is a form of advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of Marketing''. M ...
is ad copy delivered through wireless mobile devices such as
smartphone A smartphone is a portable device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can per ...

smartphone
s,
feature phone A feature phone is a type or class of mobile phone A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone A telephone is a ...
s, or tablet computers. Mobile advertising may take the form of static or rich media display ads, SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) ads, mobile search ads, advertising within mobile websites, or ads within mobile applications or games (such as interstitial ads, "
advergamingAn advergame is a form of advertising in video games, in which the video game is developed by or in close collaboration with a corporate entity for purposes of advertising a brand-name product. While other video games may use in-game advertising (suc ...
," or application sponsorship). Industry groups such as the Mobile Marketing Association have attempted to standardize mobile ad unit specifications, similar to the IAB's efforts for general online advertising. Mobile advertising is growing rapidly for several reasons. There are more mobile devices in the field, connectivity speeds have improved (which, among other things, allows for richer media ads to be served quickly), screen resolutions have advanced, mobile publishers are becoming more sophisticated about incorporating ads, and consumers are using mobile devices more extensively. The Interactive Advertising Bureau predicts continued growth in mobile advertising with the adoption of location-based targeting and other technological features not available or relevant on personal computers. In July 2014
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...

Facebook
reported advertising revenue for the June 2014 quarter of $2.68 billion, an increase of 67 percent over the second quarter of 2013. Of that, mobile advertising revenue accounted for around 62 percent, an increase of 41 percent on the previous year.


Email advertising

Email advertising is ad copy comprising an entire email or a portion of an email message. Email marketing may be unsolicited, in which case the sender may give the recipient an option to opt out of future emails, or it may be sent with the recipient's prior consent (opt-in). Businesses may ask for your email and send updates on new products or sales.


Chat advertising

As opposed to static messaging, chat advertising refers to real-time messages dropped to users on certain sites. This is done using live chat software or tracking applications installed within certain websites with the operating personnel behind the site often dropping adverts on the traffic surfing around the sites. In reality, this is a subset of the email advertising but different because of its time window.


Online classified advertising

Online classified advertising is advertising posted online in a categorical listing of specific products or services. Examples include online job boards, online real estate listings, automotive listings, online
yellow pages #REDIRECT Yellow pages The yellow pages are any telephone directory of businesses, organized by category rather than alphabetically by business name, and in which advertising is sold. The directories were originally printed on yellow paper, as ...
, and online auction-based listings.
Craigslist Craigslist (stylized as craigslist) is an American classified advertisement Classified advertising is a form of advertising, particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals, which may be sold or distributed free of charge. Cla ...

Craigslist
and
eBay eBay Inc. ( ) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational sta ...
are two prominent providers of online classified listings.


Adware

Adware Adware, often called advertising-supported software by its developers, is software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer ...
is software that, once installed, automatically displays advertisements on a user's computer. The ads may appear in the software itself, integrated into web pages visited by the user, or in pop-ups/pop-unders. Adware installed without the user's permission is a type of
malware Malware (a portmanteau for malicious software) is any software intentionally designed to cause disruption to a computer, server (computing), server, Client (computing), client, or computer network, leak private information, gain unauthorized acc ...

malware
.


Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more Affiliate (commerce), affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. Structure The industry has four ...
occurs when advertisers organize third parties to generate potential customers for them. Third-party affiliates receive payment based on sales generated through their promotion. Affiliate marketers generate traffic to offers from
affiliate network An affiliate network acts as an intermediary between publishers (affiliates) and Affiliate programs, merchant affiliate programs. It allows website publishers to more easily find and participate in affiliate programs which are suitable for their we ...
s, and when the desired action is taken by the visitor, the affiliate earns a commission. These desired actions can be an email submission, a phone call, filling out an online form, or an online order being completed.


Content marketing

Content marketing Content marketing is a form of marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content for a targeted audience online. It is often used by businesses in order to achieve the following goals: attract attention and generate lead, expan ...
is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including blogs, news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides and more. Considering that most marketing involves some form of published media, it is almost (though not entirely) redundant to call 'content marketing' anything other than simply 'marketing'. There are, of course, other forms of marketing (in-person marketing, telephone-based marketing, word of mouth marketing, etc.) where the label is more useful for identifying the type of marketing. However, even these are usually merely presenting content that they are marketing as information in a way that is different from traditional print, radio, TV, film, email, or web media.


Online marketing platform

An online marketing platform (OMP) is an integrated
web-based A web application (or web app) is application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are run locally on the operating system (OS) of the device. Web applications are accessed by the user through a web bro ...
platform that combines the benefits of a
business directory A business directory is a website or printed Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and Printmaking, images using a master form or template. The earliest non-paper products involving printing include cylinder seals and objects suc ...
,
local searchLocal search may refer to: * Local search (constraint satisfaction), a method for problem solving in constraint satisfaction * Local search (Internet), web searching for web sites relevant to a given place * Local search (optimization), a method for ...
engine,
search engine optimisation Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of Web traffic, website traffic to a website or a web page from web search engine, search engines. SEO targets unpaid traffic (known as "natural" or "Organic ...
(SEO) tool,
customer relationship management Customer relationship management (CRM) is a process in which a business or other organization administers its interactions with customers, typically using data analysis to study large amounts of information. CRM systems compile data from a range ...
(CRM) package and
content management system A content management system (CMS) is a computer software Software is a collection of instructions Instruction or instructions may refer to: Computing * Instruction, one operation of a processor within a computer architecture instruction set * ...
(CMS).
eBay eBay Inc. ( ) is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational sta ...
and
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...
are used as online marketing and
logistics management Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requi ...
platforms. On
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...

Facebook
,
Twitter Twitter is an American microblogging Microblogging is an online Broadcasting, broadcast medium that exists as a specific form of blogging. A micro-blog differs from a traditional blog in that its content is typically smaller in both actu ...

Twitter
,
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
,
Pinterest Pinterest is an American image sharing and social media service designed to enable saving and discovery of information (specifically "ideas") on the internet using images and, on a smaller scale, animated GIFs and videos, in the form of Bulletin ...

Pinterest
,
LinkedIn LinkedIn () is an American business- and employment-oriented online service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Launched on May 5, 2003, the platform is primarily used for professional networking and career development, and allows job se ...
, and other
Social Media Social media are interactive technologies that facilitate the creation Creation may refer to: Religion * Creation ''ex nihilo'', the concept that matter was created by God out of nothing * Creation myth A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) ...

Social Media
,
retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption ( ...

retail
online marketing is also used. Online business marketing platforms such as
Marketo Marketo, Inc. is an American software company, headquartered in San Mateo, California. Marketo develops and sells Marketing Automation, marketing automation software for account-based marketing and other marketing services and products including Se ...
, MarketBright and Pardot have been bought by major IT companies (Eloqua-
Oracle An oracle is a person or agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior". Institutions can refer to mechanisms which go ...
, Neolane-
Adobe Adobe (; ) is a building material Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from ...
and Unica-
IBM International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the C ...

IBM
). Unlike television marketing in which Nielsen TV Ratings can be relied upon for viewing metrics, online advertisers do not have an independent party to verify viewing claims made by the big online platforms. The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
defines online platforms as "information society services that allow business users to offer goods or services to consumers, with a view to facilitating the initiating of direct transactions between those business users and consumers; they are provided to business users on the basis of contractual relationships between the provider of those services and business users offering goods or services to consumers." Almost half of the small and medium sized businesses who responded to an EU survey in 2018 said that they use online marketplaces to sell their goods and services.European Commission
Online platforms: Commission sets new standards on transparency and fairness
IP/18/3372, published 26 April 2018, accessed 14 November 2020


Legislation

The Online Intermediation Services Regulation (2019/1150/EU) or P2B Regulation came into force in all EU Member States and the UK on 12 July 2020. The Regulation aims to promote fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services or online platforms. The main aim of the Regulation is to establish a legal framework which will guarantee transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective opportunities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected. Such transparency and fairness underpin improvements in the function of the
Digital Single Market On 6 May 2015, the European Commission, led at the time by Jean-Claude Juncker, communicated the Digital Single Market Strategy which intend to remove virtual borders, boost digital connectivity, and make it easier for consumers to access cross-b ...
especially for the benefit of SMEs. The regulations also set up an EU Observatory to monitor the impact of the new rules, called the Observatory on the Online Platform Economy. The UK's Online Intermediation Services for Business Users (Enforcement) Regulations 2020 replicate the effects of the EU Regulation.


Compensation methods

Advertisers and publishers use a wide range of payment calculation methods. In 2012, advertisers calculated 32% of online advertising transactions on a cost-per-impression basis, 66% on customer performance (e.g. cost per click or cost per acquisition), and 2% on hybrids of impression and performance methods.


CPM (cost per mille)

Cost per mille, often abbreviated to CPM, means that advertisers pay for every thousand displays of their message to potential customers (mille is the Latin word for thousand). In the online context, ad displays are usually called "impressions." Definitions of an "impression" vary among publishers, and some impressions may not be charged because they don't represent a new exposure to an actual customer. Advertisers can use technologies such as web bugs to verify if an impression is actually delivered. Similarly, revenue generated can be measured in Revenue per mille (RPM). Publishers use a variety of techniques to increase page views, such as dividing content across multiple pages, repurposing someone else's content, using sensational titles, or publishing tabloid or sexual content. CPM advertising is susceptible to "impression fraud," and advertisers who want visitors to their sites may not find per-impression payments a good proxy for the results they desire.


CPC (cost per click)

Pay per click, CPC (Cost Per Click) or PPC (Pay per click) means advertisers pay each time a user clicks on the ad. CPC advertising works well when advertisers want visitors to their sites, but it's a less accurate measurement for advertisers looking to build brand awareness. CPC's market share has grown each year since its introduction, eclipsing CPM to dominate two-thirds of all online advertising compensation methods. Like impressions, not all recorded clicks are valuable to advertisers. GoldSpot Media reported that up to 50% of clicks on static mobile banner ads are accidental and resulted in redirected visitors leaving the new site immediately.


CPE (cost per engagement)

Cost per engagement aims to track not just that an ad unit loaded on the page (i.e., an Impression (online media), impression was served), but also that the viewer actually saw and/or interacted with the ad.


CPV (cost per view)

Cost per view video advertising. Both Google and TubeMogul endorsed this standardized CPV metric to the IAB's (
Interactive Advertising Bureau The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is an advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of ...
) Digital Video Committee, and it's garnering a notable amount of industry support. CPV is the primary benchmark used in
YouTube YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform Social media are interactive technologies that allow the Content creation, creation or information sharing, sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, an ...

YouTube
Advertising Campaigns, as part of Google's AdWords platform.


CPI (cost per install)

The CPI compensation method is specific to mobile applications and
mobile advertising Mobile advertising is a form of advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of Marketing''. M ...
. In CPI ad campaigns brands are charged a fixed of bid rate only when the application was installed.


CPL (cost per lead)

Cost per lead compensation method implies that the advertiser pays for an explicit sign-up from a consumer interested in the advertiser's offer.


Attribution of ad value

In marketing, "attribution" is the measurement of effectiveness of particular ads in a consumer's ultimate decision to purchase. Multiple ad impressions may lead to a consumer "click" or other action. A single action may lead to revenue being paid to multiple ad space sellers.


Other performance-based compensation

CPA (Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition) or PPP (Pay Per Performance) advertising means the advertiser pays for the number of users who perform a desired activity, such as completing a purchase or filling out a registration form. Performance-based compensation can also incorporate revenue sharing, where publishers earn a percentage of the advertiser's profits made as a result of the ad. Performance-based compensation shifts the risk of failed advertising onto publishers.


Fixed cost

Fixed cost compensation means advertisers pay a fixed cost for delivery of ads online, usually over a specified time period, irrespective of the ad's visibility or users' response to it. One examples is CPD (cost per day) where advertisers pay a fixed cost for publishing an ad for a day irrespective of impressions served or clicks.


Benefits of online advertising


Cost

The low costs of electronic communication reduce the cost of displaying online advertisements compared to offline ads. Online advertising, and in particular social media, provides a low-cost means for advertisers to engage with large established communities. Advertising online offers better returns than in other media.


Measurability

Online advertisers can collect data on their ads' effectiveness, such as the size of the potential audience or actual audience response, how a visitor reached their advertisement, whether the advertisement resulted in a sale, and whether an ad actually loaded within a visitor's view. This helps online advertisers improve their ad campaigns over time.


Formatting

Advertisers have a wide variety of ways of presenting their promotional messages, including the ability to convey images, video, audio, and links. Unlike many offline ads, online ads also can be interactive. For example, some ads let users input queries or let users follow the advertiser on social media. Online ads can even incorporate games.


Targeting

Publishers can offer advertisers the ability to reach customizable and narrow market segments for targeted advertising. Online advertising may use geo-targeting to display relevant advertisements to the user's geography. Advertisers can customize each individual ad to a particular user based on the user's previous preferences. Advertisers can also track whether a visitor has already seen a particular ad in order to reduce unwanted repetitious exposures and provide adequate time gaps between exposures.


Coverage

Online advertising can reach nearly every global market, and online advertising influences offline sales.


Speed

Once ad design is complete, online ads can be deployed immediately. The delivery of online ads does not need to be linked to the publisher's publication schedule. Furthermore, online advertisers can modify or replace ad copy more rapidly than their offline counterparts.


Concerns


Security concerns

According to a US Senate investigation in 2014, there are security and privacy concerns for users due to the infrastructure of online advertising. This is because of the potential for malware to be disseminated through online advertisements and for such malvertising to be inserted and triggered without sufficient protection or screening. Ransomware gangs were spotted using carefully targeted Google search advertising to redirect victims to pages dropping malware.


Banner blindness

Eye-tracking studies have shown that Internet users often ignore web page zones likely to contain display ads (sometimes called "banner blindness"), and this problem is worse online than in offline media. On the other hand, studies suggest that even those ads "ignored" by the users may influence the user subconsciously.


Fraud on the advertiser

There are numerous ways that advertisers can be overcharged for their advertising. For example, click fraud occurs when a publisher or third parties click (manually or through automated means) on a CPC ad with no legitimate buying intent. For example, click fraud can occur when a competitor clicks on ads to deplete its rival's advertising budget, or when publishers attempt to manufacture revenue. Click fraud is especially associated with pornography sites. In 2011, certain scamming porn websites launched dozens of hidden pages on each visitor's computer, forcing the visitor's computer to click on hundreds of paid links without the visitor's knowledge. As with offline publications, online impression fraud can occur when publishers overstate the number of ad impressions they have delivered to their advertisers. To combat impression fraud, several publishing and advertising industry associations are developing ways to count online impressions credibly.


Technological variations


Heterogeneous clients

Because users have different operating systems, web browsers and computer hardware (including mobile devices and different screen sizes), online ads may appear to users differently from how the advertiser intended, or the ads may not display properly at all. A 2012 comScore study revealed that, on average, 31% of ads were not "in-view" when rendered, meaning they never had an opportunity to be seen. Rich media ads create even greater compatibility problems, as some developers may use competing (and exclusive) software to render the ads (see e.g. Comparison of HTML 5 and Flash). Furthermore, advertisers may encounter legal problems if legally required information doesn't actually display to users, even if that failure is due to technological heterogeneity. In the United States, the FTC has released a set of guidelines indicating that it's the advertisers' responsibility to ensure the ads display any required disclosures or disclaimers, irrespective of the users' technology.


Ad blocking

Ad blocking, or ad filtering, means the ads do not appear to the user because the user uses technology to screen out ads. Many browsers block unsolicited pop-up ads by default. Other software programs or browser add-ons may also block the loading of ads, or block elements on a page with behaviors characteristic of ads (e.g. HTML autoplay of both audio and video). Approximately 9% of all online page views come from browsers with ad-blocking software installed, and some publishers have 40%+ of their visitors using ad-blockers.


Anti-targeting technologies

Some web browsers offer privacy modes where users can hide information about themselves from publishers and advertisers. Among other consequences, advertisers can't use cookies to serve targeted ads to private browsers. Most major browsers have incorporated Do Not Track options into their browser headers, but the regulations currently are only enforced by the honor system.


Privacy concerns

The collection of user information by publishers and advertisers has raised consumer concerns about their privacy. Sixty percent of internet users surveyed sais they would use Do Not Track technology to block all collection of information if given an opportunity. Over half of all
Google Google LLC is an American multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational stat ...

Google
and
Facebook Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service owned by Meta Platforms. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, an ...

Facebook
users are concerned about their privacy when using Google and Facebook, according to ''Gallup''. Many consumers have reservations about online
behavioral targeting Targeted advertising is a form of advertising Advertising is a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of Marketing''. ...
. By tracking users' online activities, advertisers are able to understand consumers quite well. Advertisers often use technology, such as web bugs and respawning cookies, to maximize their abilities to track consumers. According to a 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, over half of Internet users had a negative impression of online behavioral advertising, and forty percent feared that their personally-identifiable information had been shared with advertisers without their consent. Consumers can be especially troubled by advertisers targeting them based on sensitive information, such as financial or health status. Furthermore, some advertisers attach the MAC address of users' devices to their 'demographic profiles' so they can be retargeted (regardless of the accuracy of the profile) even if the user clears their cookies and browsing history.


Trustworthiness of advertisers

Scammers can take advantage of consumers' difficulties verifying an online persona's identity, leading to artifices like phishing (where scam emails look identical to those from a well-known brand owner) and confidence schemes like the Nigerian scam, Nigerian "419" scam. The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 289,874 complaints in 2012, totaling over half a billion dollars in losses, most of which originated with scam ads. Consumers also face malware risks, i.e. malvertising, when interacting with online advertising. Cisco's 2013 Annual Security Report revealed that clicking on ads was 182 times more likely to install a virus on a user's computer than surfing the Internet for porn. For example, in August 2014 Yahoo's advertising network reportedly saw cases of infection of a variant of Cryptolocker ransomware.


Spam

The Internet's low cost of disseminating advertising contributes to spam, especially by large-scale List of spammers, spammers. Numerous efforts have been undertaken to combat spam, ranging from blacklists to regulatorily-required labeling to content filters, but most of those efforts have adverse collateral effects, such as mistaken filtering.


Regulation

In general, consumer protection laws apply equally to online and offline activities. However, there are questions over which jurisdiction's laws apply and which regulatory agencies have enforcement authority over transborder activity. As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published ''Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising'' based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009. European ad associations published a similar document in 2011. Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data. Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.


Privacy and data collection

Privacy regulation can require users' consent before an advertiser can track the user or communicate with the user. However, affirmative consent ("opt in") can be difficult and expensive to obtain. Industry participants often prefer other regulatory schemes. Different jurisdictions have taken different approaches to privacy issues with advertising. The United States has specific restrictions on online tracking of children in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the FTC has recently expanded its interpretation of COPPA to include requiring ad networks to obtain parental consent before knowingly tracking kids. Otherwise, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission frequently supports industry self-regulation, although increasingly it has been undertaking enforcement actions related to online privacy and security. The FTC has also been pushing for industry consensus about possible Do Not Track legislation. In contrast, the European Union's "Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive" restricts websites' ability to use consumer data much more comprehensively. The EU limitations restrict targeting by online advertisers; researchers have estimated online advertising effectiveness decreases on average by around 65% in Europe relative to the rest of the world.


Delivery methods

Many laws specifically regulate the ways online ads are delivered. For example, online advertising delivered via email is more regulated than the same ad content delivered via banner ads. Among other restrictions, the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that any commercial email provide an opt-out mechanism. Similarly, mobile advertising is governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), which (among other restrictions) requires user opt-in before sending advertising via text messaging.


See also

* Adblock * Advertising * Advertising campaign * Advertising management * Advertising media * Branded entertainment * Digital marketing * Direct marketing * Integrated marketing communications * Marketing communications * Media planning * Promotion (marketing) * Promotional mix * Promotional campaign * Product placement * Promotional merchandise * Sales promotion * Mobile marketing


References

{{authority control Online advertising, Advertising by medium Online advertising methods Digital marketing