The FAZ, Germans “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” reported yesterday in their article: “XING meets the borders of growth” (German), that XING has removed it’s advertisements from premium customer pages after massive protests in their forums. Many customer extensively use Xing as their online business card, their virtually profile. So is happened f.e. that (invisible to them self) other users saw their profile with ads from (in worst case) competition companies.
I did always suspect, that plain advertisement in the web is overrated. It is just a contribution to information overload. And more and more people will treat it as spam. So a business model based on advertisement will work well as long as someone pays for it. But if customers start to systematic avoid ads, advertisement business will meet it’s borders. Anyway, there are better ways to promote things like reputation or referral models.