In the beginning of targeted online advertising, there were banner ads. As many people recall, these were supposed to drive the Internet marketing industry in its infancy. Scads of publishers paid scads of money based on a CPI (cost per impression) model or simply paid huge dollars for banner ads and other targeted online advertising on well-trafficked sites.
I previously wrote about Yell in an article in 2010 lamenting the corperate fools in charge who were running the famous directory business into the ground, turning a £5bn market valuation to £4m in a little under 5 years. (Although, possibly to call them fools is not appropriate because as usual, these corperate types take their stock options, high salaries and seemingly carry no responsibility when their mismanagement railroads` the business.)