Re: Death to advertisers!
The whole idea of personally targeted ads is beyond Congress critter levels of stupidity. What is the context of the information that selects the supposedly appropriate ad? The fundamental flaw is only the user actually knows, the rest of us are just navel gazing. If you went back to ads based on the site content you might get more clicks, less blocking, and more effective ads. All sites like their print ancestors have an audience with a certain demographic which has certain general collective interests. I can assume a regular on El Reg is someone interested in technology, so technology oriented ads would be appropriate. I would expect the emphasis of the ads be more towards professional than hobbyist interests given the site content.
A good chunk of the ad budget is 'wasted' in the sense it does provoke and immediate sale but often it generates awareness that could lead to a sale later. If potential customers do not know of you how are they going become aware of you. That is one of the fundamental purposes of advertising, raising customer awareness.