A Report of the Working Group on Internet Advertising
The Coalition for Networked Information
September 28, 1994
Participants in the CNI discussion were most enthusiastic about the Yellow Pages approach, in which advertisements from a variety of sources are collected into a searchable data base, sometimes called a “storefront.” Discussants felt that a Yellow Pages service fits most comfortably into the Internet culture — and takes best advantage of the tools developed for the Internet. Searching and presentation tools like Gopher, Archie, WAIS, and Mosaic make organizing and delivering advertisers’ information relatively easy, and allow Internetters to find that information relatively painlessly.
Gopher is currently the most useful and friendly of the net-searching protocols. A Gopher "burrow" containing a wide selection of products and services, including options for requesting updated information and containing levels of background information on the product's features and the company's history, maybe even offering graphics files, would allow Internet users to "shop", as in the Yellow Pages, and browse and compare products. [From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cliff Figallo) Date: Tue, 26 Oct 93 11:25:00 -0400]
On the other hand, the Yellow Pages works only when someone is looking for information, and not when advertisers are trying to interest people who may never have heard of their company or their product. In addition, the Yellow Pages or storefront services themselves must be advertised heavily in order to get Internetters to use it, which may lead to “intrusive” advertising being used to trumpet the availability of “non-intrusive” advertising.
...let's admit that non-intrusive advertising is almost an oxymoron. The word "advertising" comes from the Latin word meaning "call attention to," and to call someone's attention to something you have to intrude on that person's attention. And so, if you have a new product (or whole new type of product, which doesn't even fit into existing yellow pages categories!), you will certainly need to "intrude" -- i.e., to ADVERTISE. You will also need to intrude on people's consciousness if you have a new cause, a new politician (talk about oxymorons!), a new idea, etc. [From: email@example.com (John Gehl) Date: Wed, 13 Oct 93 18:52:37 -0400]
Advertisers like having their product and service information in an expected spot. It means that those who go out looking for such information have an easy time finding it. But Yellow Pages and storefront advertising lack the serendipitous quality of advertisements designed to entice readers who may not at that moment be actively seeking information about a product or service.