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Online ads enter the next generation

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Barry Briggs, president of CNET Networks Media, said banners don’t allow companies to communicate complex solutions. "There’s an extraordinary opportunity on the Web for [advertisers] to take brand awareness and move it down the path to brand preference and brand affinity," he said.

Denise Garcia, research director of interactive advertising at Gartner Group Inc., said embedded ads are a "huge bonus" because the user doesn’t have to travel away from the site to get information and the advertiser isn’t interrupting the user experience. "The banner’s struggle with performance issues has fueled the growth of rich media," she said. "The real story will be in three months when we have real data that reflects interactivity and time spent."

Garcia added that by 2005, the online advertising market "will look like a group of smart business people in a boardroom while other media, still struggling to demonstrate ROI and customer knowledge, will look like two monkeys holding a banana."

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