The humble banner ad originated at Wired magazine when its creator started using this advertising unit on the then-influential magazine’s website (HotWired) in October 1994. I remember HotWired well, as I was busy researching the early origins of the web for a varsity project. This was a time of basic HTML websites, without a hint of social media or a need for fake clicks on ads.
According to the history of the banner ad on the Wired.com website, “the first HotWired banner ad was from AT&T, prophetically asking ‘Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? You will.’ “.
Fast forward to the hectic times of fake news and even more fake user accounts of today and click fraud has become a major issue for brand marketers worldwide. Programmatic
(automated) banner and other online ad formats and distribution mechanisms mean human control over when and where online ads appear, don’t appear, are clicked on by a robot or by a real person, are seemingly a bit of a hit and miss affair.