Suggestions for the board's banner ads. Any ideas?

Help me analyze this.

I’ve been reading how the site costs money, and they have a hard time selling ads.

I just can’t figure out why.
Seems like a newspaper would know how to sell ads for a popular site.

I have a couple of ideas - Can you add to this list?

1- When there’s no ad, they could run one anyway, but not for the Chicago Reader. Running “ads” for yourself should be part of the mix, not all of it.
Anything else, whether they’re paid for or not. Say if they ran that Altoids ad for more time than paid for, the Altoid people might be impressed by more hits and repeat the ad.
2- Or, pick someone with a big name who allows others to link to them, like or Barnes and Nobel, or Ralph Lauren. Only you will know they aren’t paid for. To potential clients, it looks like you’re selling mainstream.
Nothing sells like success.
3- If they can’t see their way to “giving free samples”, then perhaps advertise to the particular audience. Sure there’s links to Cecil’s books and sourvenirs, but not ads really.
4- Ask the readers what they think would sell to this audience, then take the survey results to the winners. Let’s say the users here said this is a good place to sell DVD players, or Playstations, or Book of the Month subscriptions, or office supplies, or children’s toys, or post-consumer recycled goods. Wouldn’t that give an ad salesman the door-opener he needed?

From my experience on the board anyone selling-[ul]
[li]Coffee[/li][li]Chocolate[/li][li]Sex toys[/li][li]Drugs[/li][li]Guns and Ammo[/li][li]Computer Games[/li][li]Airfare to Dopefests[/li][li]Dictionaries[/li][li]Flamethrowers[/li][/ul]
would do well to advertise here…

The number ONE advertisement needed…
[ul][li]a Dating Service[/ul][/li]
and for the Pit-
[ul][li]Valium[/li]Attitude Adjustment Services[/ul]

This could pay for the board upgrade by itself.
Since the Reader undoubtedly has a “matchmaker” feature in it’s classifieds, they just need to tailor it to SDMB only.

I see the word advertisement but no ad.

I guess posting that ad for the Sci Fi Channel’s The Invisible Man series wasn’t such a hot idea after all.

Well, back to the drawing board.