Yes, the raison d'être of an ad is to attract attention.
I only have so much money though. I'd liken it to a game of shuffleboard - or perhaps a race to a cliff. The faster/closer to the cliff you get, the more points you earn. However, go over and you lose all the points.
The most aggressive capitalist usually wins. If they go too far, they can either back-off to the point of profit maximization, or re-open under a new identity.
As others have mentioned - Ad blocking wouldn't be such a big deal if the advertisers hadn't shat in their own pool and poisoned the viewing of it's audience.
Yes, it's been a death spiral as ad volume has been made to compensate for diminishing ad effectiveness. TV is adapting though, through a rise in subscription services. Subscriptions aren't the entire solution for news and information, but there is the option here of them getting compensated for helping their users make smart choices.
As Jerry mentioned, the choice is 'acceptable ads' for me, or NO ads. My policy is simple. You put up a 'I won't let you access the content without allowing ads' notice and I'll go elsewhere.
Global, ubiquitous, neutral, and cheap Internet connectivity has certainly put the power back in the consumers' hands. But unless alternative revenue sources are developed, there is a risk that the loss of ad revenue will result in a tragedy of the commons, where you either pay or get junk.