Do you know what latent advertising is?
It's how Facebook make a living.
You go to the supermarket with the express intention of buying milk and eggs - at the checkout you see some trebor mints and yorky bars, you quite fancy them and drop one of each onto the conveyor belt - you didn't go with the intention of buying them but did. Because they were in your line of sight you bought them.
This is where Facebook is succeeding with their advertising programmes.
In my role heading up a digital agency specialising in the use of social media for marketing I have been known to say the future of using social sites is not advertising it is through recommendation, creating profiles, groups and building fan pages for products and services and creating conversations with emotive topics.
Advertising on Facebook is a mugs game...
But you know what it's not the whole story; now that Facebook have your profile information they know everything about you, thus allowing small brands the opportunity to reach specific market groups and have adverts placed next to your content, and because it's pertinent to you, in a latent way, you may occasionally check it out, ending up with it on your conveyor belt.
The real challenge from an advertisers point of view is making sure the message is right for the target market and adapting a different message for each client profile.