Topic: Does web advertising actually work?

There are two websites I look at every day The Guardian and the Gazzetta. I very occasionally click on some of the Gazzetta ads to find out what's happening in the Italian market - but never never and I mean NEVER have I clicked on or even looked at ads on the Guardian. Similiarly I have zero recall of any advertisements that I may have seen on facebook or google.

Whereas I have a strong recall of recent TV ads - even though most of the time I watch them on fast forward. I also have strong recall of posters I have seen on the tube - and billboards..

The question I am asking is this - The web may reach billions and billions of people but does advertising on the web actually work? Isn't it just a waste of advertisers money? If they want to penetrate public consciousness are they better off forgetting about the new media (which ain't new any more) and stick to TV and posters?

What does everyone else think? Any stats from anybody in the ad industry would be appreciated. Any examples of succesfull web campaigns would also be of interest.

People say I'm bonkers - just because I've been sectioned under the Mental Health Act of 1983