This study is an attempt to examine factors that might impact banner recognition. These factors include banner location, banner content and navigation style. Via an experimental design conducted on a sample of 90 students, we manipulate these factors over several levels. Our key finding is that banner recognition is affected by the interaction of banner content and navigation style. In particular, as far as aimless browsing participants were concerned, they recognized the banner ad with a URL address significantly better than the one with some service information as well as the URL address. However, for goal-directed search participants, there was no significant difference among the three banner content types. The results also indicated that goal-directed search participants had higher recognition scores than aimless browsing subjects only when the banner ad with some service information and URL address was used. Managerial implications of these results are discussed and future research avenues are proposed. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.