All on-line ads are mostly worthless - most clicks are from clickfarms, and the genuine parts are mostly by clickjacking or accidental misclicks. Almost no one really wants to buy stuff via ads. Ad agencies keep telling companies that advertising online will generate lots of revenue, but between all those messy, noisy metrics and people generally not understanding a thing about statistics it's hard to see what part of revenue can be really attributed to ads, and whether or not they're worth the money invested.
In most cases they will be underwhelming, but if the numbers make sense, why not?
example: 2$ per click for a $500 dollar product (assume no other costs_
if you can turn 1 out of 100 clicks into a sale, then it might still be worth it, despite 99 fake, uninterested, botted, clickfarmed or otherwise undesirable clicks.
Things like Facebook Likes are more difficult to track and are still relatively new, and that's why many people haven't figured them out yet, but over time they will either reach an equilibrium, where value provided is equal to cost or they will disappear.
I'm anti-ads because the kind of ads that I am being exposed to are invasive, especially re-targeting ads. I.e. those ads where you've been on a website and thought about buying something, then decided against it? Then you get the same product advertised to you on random other sites you visit.
I cannot stand it when those ads follow me around. In fact, assuming I didn't buy the product or service for a good reason, and I do want to buy the product, I will deliberately buy from a competitor, because fuck you and your invasion of my privacy. It is my own little way of silent protest.
I assume I'm in a minority though and most people don't care. Most of the time I use an ad-blocker. iPad doesn't have a solution unfortunately.
I always try to deactivate and fallback to classic ads. It was at least possible in FB some years ago.
I would tend to agree, if we keep the "mostly" in mind. You really need to target you ad money on places where the users are already trying to buy something.
Other than that I don't see ads on random sites working any better than television or print ads. Maybe that's okay, but let's face it, I'm not going to buy 10kg of fire wood because I see an ad on a news site.
Right now at Perfect Audience, we have many customers using our tools and seeing anything from $5-15 in sales from each $1 they spend. It takes time and work to get to the high end of that spectrum, but people get there and it grows their business swiftly.