I had lunch with someone on Friday who explained how this is old thinking. That things are changing so rapidly; people learn very quickly to ignore ad areas, banner spaces, etc. It’s a complex organic system that evolves as quickly as it can be measured. Put the ads over here, then attention will shift elsewhere as people collectively learn. My lunch guy had a story about meeting a prospective client who explained this to their total disbelief, and pulled out longitudinal data from a major newspaper to prove it.
Web page advertising is an emergent system. I suspect those that see it as such will stay ahead of the game.