Although the web runs on advertising, the fact of the matter is that if it LOOKS LIKE ADVERTISING users will ignore it.
This term is called "banner blindness" and it basically means that anything that looks like an ad, will most likely be ignored by your users.
• Users never fixate their eyes on anything that looks like a banner ad due to shape or position on the page.
• Animation avoidance makes users ignore areas with blinking or flashing text or other aggressive animations
• Pop-up purges mean that users close pop-up windows before they have even fully rendered; sometimes with great viciousness
In the example above, a group studied the effects of banner blindness by asking users to find new hotels on the website above. 97% clicked on the hotel link, only 3% clicked on the banner which clearly states "New Hotels."
This is an actual site: