With In-text advertising gaining popularity among various advertisers, it is very interesting to see how they perform. Vibrant and Kontera are the two major players in that segment and have been known to show very high Click-through rate up to 5% at times.
When these publishers are on the media plan, they tend to skew the performance of the overall campaign and also make all the other publishers look not so good.
My thoughts are that display banner ads and in-text advertising comparison is not a APPLES to APPLES comparison. They should not be compared against one another.
My personal belief is that there could be a lot of accidental clicks in the in-text advertising. Site analytics should be used to gauge the business value of these consumers. Specific metrics like page depth, time spent and if there are any specific "call to actions" should be tracked.
I also believe that some consumers, who have get exposed to in-text advertising for the first few times, find it very interesting and a brand new concept. This allures them to click on the ad; however they did not intend to be on the advertiser's website. These kinds of situations cause a lot of accidental clicks.
This is a new medium and with time we all will get better understanding and provide accurate POVs to our business partners to better gauge the value addition from the in-text advertising campaigns.