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Just two out of a thousand viewed banners are clicked on by European internet users, according to browser analysis by ad server technology provider ADTECH. The current click-through rate of 0.18% is the lowest since ADTECH began its banner analyses in 2004, when the average was 0.33%.

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According to the data, the majority of clicks result from video ads (4.6%, on average) as well as pop-ups and layer ads at 0.6%; and users tend to click on the traditional full-size banner more often (0.2%) than the newer large-format ads such as the skyscraper and wide skyscraper (0.11 and 0.15%) and leaderboard (0.12%).

Click-through behavior varies significantly between banner format and country, however. The research identified the French and Italians as the most eager to click. Their click-through rates of 0.24% and 0.23%, respectively, are double the rates of the Danes and Finns (0.1% each).

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“The decreasing numbers overall in my opinion are due to the fact that the users have increasingly gotten used to online advertising during the last years. Banners are now commonplace on the internet,” said Dirk Freytag, ADTECH CEO.

“New formats, such as video ads are needed to draw attention and generate clicks. Layer and leaderboards in contrast have a high reminder potential even beyond the web.”

The data for the study were collected between January and March 2007 from 4,000 websites. ADTECH data displays key trends but does not provide absolute figures. For its regular browser analyses, ADTECH evaluates several billion banner inquiries to its own Adserver across Europe. Browser distribution and click rates can vary according to site, day of week and time of day.

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