It appear,, Google is testing display ads in Gmail. Sterling posted the following screenshot showing the imge ad in his Gmail account this morning:
Image ads have made their way into paid search on Google.com and various other properties on Google.
A Google spokesperson provided 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.
They also said the ads began running last Friday.
[tags]display ads,image ads[/tags]