I now am seeing display ads in Gmail consistently (though not in 100% of cases) in connection with retail email ads. Here are two more from this morning:
It appears that Google is being “restrained” about when it is showing these ads. Yesterday a Google spokesperson offered the following comment: “We’re always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content.”
I regularly receive email marketing from Radio Shack, Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Eddie Bauer and others. Even though all of these are HTML-based and feature lots of images I don’t see Gmail image ads in every case. I suspect that will change as Google over time.
It thus appears that when the body of an email is text only there will be no image ads.