Let’s face it, advertising is not working as well as it used to. Much of the blame for this falls squarely on advertising agencies (who think entertainment is the highest form of communications) and advertisers (who encourage the squandering of dollars because they encourage gratuitous entertainment).

But, some of the failure is due to the changing consumer and their ability to tune-out or at least subjectively “tune-in.”

In an attempt to fix this problem, more and more advertising dollars are chasing the electronic and mobile media. Rather than looking at the form and content of their own advertising, it is much easier to poke around in new media opportunities. Or is it?iphone

Well in a report today on Reuters, it looks as though many advertisers are seeing smart phones and social networks as their new Rosetta Stone.

But in a recent study we conducted, these are not so much opportunities as they are diversions. (See our just published study on US consumer attitudes here).

For example, 77.8% of the US population has not clicked on an Internet pop-up or banner ad in the last year.  Most don’t even notice them. And while advertisers are seeing new opportunities in social networks, only 19.2% of the US population joined a social network last year. And, out of that small group, how many of them noticed or clicked on the advertising?

It is time to rethink the traditional route and make the messages more important and more memorable.