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Online Advertising Articles
(April 2002)

Classifieds to Drive Internet Ad Growth (internet.com, April 30th)
They might not be flashy, but online classifieds are the fastest-growing segment in a rebounding Web advertising industry, Jupiter Media Metrix has found. Jupiter sees spending on the static ads increase some 38% this year as opposed to the last, with growth to continue at a solid rate until 2007. Growth in such a specific and largely non-interactive format has been put down to the eventual willingness of offline advertisers to move their marketing dollars online, but largely within the confines of formats with which they have become comfortable.

DoubleClick: Marketers Wrongly Perceive Web Problems (AtNewYork, April 30th)
Marketers would be willing to migrate to the Internet, if it weren't for a handful of persistent problems, according to a recent study conducted by online ad leader DoubleClick. The research suggested that cross-media marketers and advertisers believed that the Web fell short compared to other media in delivering reach, consistent reporting, and addressing privacy concerns. It's also percieved as being too expensive and being too complicated. DoubleClick responded by asserting that many of these assumptions are simply incorrect. Their persistence seems to be the result of a combination of poor marketing on behalf of the industry's players and the traditional media's unbalanced reporting in the wake of the tech crash that seems to prefer tales of woe to those of go.

24/7 Real Media Breaks Even in Europe (internet.com, April 30th)
Bucking the expectations of not only the broader market, but 24/7's own management, the recently-merged 24/7 Real Media has announced break-even performance in Europe. It is this market that the company spent years trying to escape, only to grab an established position there as a result of merger activity. Success in the region came mainly from the company's success in selling its new tech offerings; their advertiser and agency product, Open Advertiser, being a highlight.

Interview: The PointRoll of Many Returns (eMarketer, April 30th)
Downplaying click-throughs and one-upping pop-ups, PointRoll CEO Jules Gardner expects his rich media ad format to be rolling out everywhere before long. Gardner updates editor David Berkowitz on PointRoll's ambitions.

Online Ad Groups Release Updated Ts&Cs (internet.com, April 29th)
The new document prepared by the IAB and AAAA, which is intended to serve as a contractual basis for insertion orders, introduces a compromise on third-party ad serving. In addition to more comprehensive rules governing third-party ad serving and the procedures that must be addresses when ad ad agency's figures differ from those of the publisher, modifications were made in the Ts&Cs to terms covering notification, reporting, and billing procedures; make-good definitions; publisher rejection of ad materials; and indemnification. The document has been received warmly by both advertising and publishing camps, which wasn't necessarily the case in its first incarnation, which seemed to favor the advertising camp.

US Markets Going Online (eMarketer, April 29th)
The Media Audit reports that 74.5 million US adults in 85 designated market areas (DMAs) said they had logged onto the internet "in the past month" in 2001 -- up from 68.7 million who said the same in 2000.

New Breed of Sweepstakes Helps Drive Sales, Produce Customers (eMarketer, April 29th)
Wondering how to convert sweepstakes entrants into actual sales? Paul Soltoff, CEO of DirectNet Advertising.net, explains how a successful tool for branding can also be a successful online advertising campaign.

Net Radio Will Pull the Plug This Week to Protest Fees (USA Today, April 29th)
Hundreds of Internet radio stations plan to go silent Wednesday to protest proposed record-label royalty payments they say would endanger their industry. For info on the reaction that was generated following the day of silence, see this follow-up article.

Is Our Industry a Modern-Day Sodom and Gomorrah? (ClickZ, April 29th)
After a frustrating battle against an aggressive ad that launched from a story appearing on MSNBC, Eric Picard comments on the threats that such irritating ad formats pose to the industry at large.

DoubleClick, CentrPort Ink Deal (internet.com, April 26th)
The online media, tech and research giant DoubleClick continues expanding its integration with vendor solutions, this time striking an agreement with marketing analytics technology firm CentrPort. The Westport, Conn.-based firm provides technology for clients to manage anonymous consumer data that it merges from disparate marketing systems, such as CRM and sales force automation software. That data thus becomes useful in applications like cross-channel re-marketing and cross-selling.

Overture Scores on Earnings, Yahoo! (internet.com, April 26th)
Pay-for-placement search provider Overture continues improving on its performance despite growing competition, with revenue and profits increasing from fourth quarter. The Pasadena, Calif.-based firm posted first-quarter net income of $29.3 million, or $0.48 per share, up 4 1 percent from last quarter. Revenue grew from $101.2 million to $142.8 million during the quarter. Meanwhile, chief rival in the pay-for-placement space, FindWhat, also announced record profits and revenue growth for the same period, as noted within this Internet Advertising Report article. Both firms put the growth down to increased search volume and increased average prices/click.

The Truth? You Can't Handle the Truth (ClickZ, April 26th)
This somewhat poignant commentary by Rebecca Lieb responds in part to Yahoo!'s ridiculous decision to change its opt-in marketing policy to an opt-out model without notice, with an assessment of just how valuable such data will remain once users become so irritated or untrusting as to falsify their demographic data.

AOL Suffers from Weak Ad Market (The Register, April 25th)
Once heralded as one of the biggest success stories in online advertising (albeit due largely to cross-media sales and in-house promotions), media titan AOL Time Warner has expressed that it is precisely this market that is the company's biggest disappointment at present. A decline in revenues derived from e-commerce and ad sales dragged the entity's earnings into negative growth territory despite an uptick in subscription-based income.

Naviant Taps MindArrow for Rich-Media (internet.com, April 25th)
Fresh off a wave of acquisitions, the database marketer continues moves to beef up its product offerings - this time securing a deal with rich-media technology firm MindArrow. The deal in question will see Naviant offer MindArrow's RadicalMail technology to its email marketing clients.

Battle Beyond the Banner (ABC News, April 24th)
Though this article feels somewhat dated, it does provide a basic overview of the evolution of online ads that newcomers to the industry may find useful. Notably, the article highlights the alleged ineffectiveness of static, staid creative formats such as banners and skyscrapers in an environment increasingly laden with Unicast Superstitials, interactive interstitials, takeover ads and popups.

Study: Local Advertisers Uninformed About Web (internet.com, April 23rd)
Many local newspaper advertisers are willing to consider online ads, but the majority view web media as simply a free or cheap add-on to localised offline buys, according to new findings from Borrell Associates and the Newspaper Association of America.

Overture Signs United Online (internet.com, April 22nd)
Pay-per-click search market leader Overture has struck back against its recent loss of EarthLink as a distribution partner by snaring an agreement with ISP United Online to do the same. This deal will see Overture provide results for both NetZero and Juno's services; expanding the engine's reach to potentially millions of additional US-based net users.

Overture Signs United Online (internet.com, April 22nd)
Amid close scrutiny of its ability to ink cross-media deals in advance of its Wednesday earnings report, AOL Time Warner makes some executive shifts.

European Legislators Rethink Stance on Cookies (internet.com, April 19th)
In a startling about-face from earlier, stricter proposals, a committee of the European Parliament approved changes to controversial legislation, setting 'opt-out' as the standard for cookie-based online profiling. The move has ad technology players breathing a sigh of relief over the demolition of restrictions that were cost prohibitive and adversely limiting in their previous form.

Guess Who's Growing Up (ClickZ, April 19th)
Pamela Parker reports that the Y-generation is coming of age just as the internet hits its stride as a marketing medium, and looks at how this could shape campaigns and websites aimed at the youth demographic in years to come.

Interview: Serving Europe's E-Ad Market 24/7 (eMarketer, April 19th)
24/7 Real Media sees itself as one of the top two players in Europe's online ad landscape; an enviable position given the expected rapid spending growth that is expected to greet the region in this and coming years. eMarketer's Editor David Berkowitz talks with 24/7's European Director of Business Development John Piccone in Paris and the company's VP of Marketing Mark Naples in New York.

Yahoo! Hires Former WB Exec (internet.com, April 19th)
Semel associate James Moloshok is brought in as the Web portal ramps up its outreach to entertainment firms, as well as its marketing of paid and ISP products.

iTV Firms Boost Ad Products for VOD (internet.com, April 18th)
Interactive TV players Concurrent and Everstream team up to unify the former's VOD server with the latter's S4 Campaign Director ad insertion software, while SeaChange rolls out its own targeted advertising service for video-on-demand.

Study Finds Banners Brand (internet.com, April 17th)
The most recent in a series of similar studies - this one conducted by researcher comScore - has found that not only can online ads work for branding, but the oft-maligned banner unit itself can wield a sizable amount of clout for consumer packaged goods (CPG) firms. These findings validate those of DoubleClick and Information Resources, Inc., who drew similar conclusions in a release issued just a few days prior to this announcement.

Teasers: Look Before You Leap (ClickZ, April 17th)
This solid article from Tig Tillinghast looks as the pitfalls that may be associated with launching 'teaser' ad campaigns without ensuring that the payoff delivers upon the promises of the tease. He also showcases some of the biggest recent failures to employ the buzz-building format online or off.

Net Users and E-Mail Marketing in Canada (eMarketer, April 16th)
Ipsos-Reid finds that 79% of internet users in Canada have opted-in to certain websites to receive e-mail campaigns - 54% of which have chosen news and information sites.

WPP Merges SEO Firms (internet.com, April 16th)
The ad agency holding group reorganizes its online specialty marketing units, following its multi-million dollar purchase of Tempus Group. Most notable is the amalgamation of the group's search engine optimization units into a single entity that will operate under the Outrider brand. In addition to its search engine marketing services, WPP's interactive advertising interests include a substantial email marketing practice and media buying services.

Pardon Me, Would You Care to View This Ad? (ClickZ, April 15th)
Although it's been around for more than a year, the Banner Console product from tech firm iLOR has been eclipsed for attention since its launch in favor of more intrusive online ad formats. However, as some of those fail to excite or, worse yet, draw negative reactions from audiences, the anti-intrusive product is starting to gain attention, as is the case in this ClickZ article. As the article notes, Banner Console flaunts direct marketing principles, and yet has managed to attract far-above-average response ratios in limited tests.

A Tip for Marketers: Don't Tread on Me (E-Commerce Guide, April 15th)
Just because your computer is connected to the Internet doesn't mean that you should be bugged, tracked, sniffed, followed, spied upon, snooped, zip-coded, target-marketed and folded, spindled and mutilated. Such is the opinion of Beth Cox, who penned this commentary concerning the differentiation between acceptable and unethical marketing practices.

24/7 Points to Cookie Policies (internet.com, April 12th)
Newly merged media sales and ad technology provider 24/7 Real Media has touted the lack of network-profiling in its ad delivery platform as the reason for its success. By allowing client sites to maintain profiling data exclusively so as to relate this only to visitor activity while on their site - and not on the broader net - the company claims that the data maintains greater value. Opponents of this assertion, though, have argued that the network model provides superior profiling due to its greater sample size, while also preventing banner burnout. A third argument claims that neither method is of much value when the costs of administering such systems are taken into account, which makes 24/7's announcement seem more like a bid for attention than a revolution in interactive advertising mechanics.

Paying for Content: A New Context for Online Ads? (ClickZ, April 12th)
This article questions just how the rules of online advertising shift when a publisher makes the transition to a subscription model.

Study: 50% of Marketers Make Money from Site (internet.com, April 12th)
More than half of the direct marketing firms doing business online are seeing positive returns on investment from their web presence, according to new findings in a survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association. The group found that some 55% are achieving profitable results online through a combination of direct sales and lead generation, and that a further 55% of those who are presently operating at a loss expect to break even this year.

Study: Web Helps in TV Ad Recall (internet.com, April 11th)
Rather than competing with mainstream media for ad dollars, the Web might serve as a valuable add-on to traditional media buys, according to findings from Millward Brown and the OPA. Specifically, the researchers found, in a study commissioned by the Online Publishers Association, that television spots become more memorable when used in conjunction with a similarly-branded web campaign.

DoubleClick Tops Street, Sees Flat Q2 (internet.com, April 11th)
Web ad leader DoubleClick issued a release concerning its first quarter results recently that featured a combination of good and bad news. On the positive side was the company's outperformance of market expectations - reaping a 1 cent/share pro forma profit against expectations of a 4 cents/share loss. On the downside, DoubleClick again failed to reach profitability according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, saw declines in its pro-forma income and reduced revenue in comparison to the quarter prior. Adding to the negatives was the company's failure to match Wall Street in its guidance for the second calendar quarter of this year. DoubleClick expects to see flat revenues for both its Technology and Data divisions during the period, and is projecting a significant loss in revenues befalling its long-troubled Media division. Despite the losses, the group claims that it will continue slimming down its overheads so as to keep its pro-forma figures near the breakeven point once more.

Looksmart Debuts CPC for Small Business (internet.com, April 11th)
Fresh from its announcement that the engine had secured the rights to provide results for Yahoo!'s Australian directory, but still struggling in the fiscal red, LookSmart has made a sudden transition to a cost-per-click model for those commercial sites listed within its ranks. This announcement was immediately marred by advertiser backlash, since Looksmart gave its clients little to no indication of the impending switch in payment models. Prior to this, the engine had operated a variety of flat-fee payment models, with one being the permanent listing of sites in exchange for a once-only fixed fee that essentially was to cover the costs associated with reviewing the site for suitability. Another small business model was associated with a $29.95 monthly fee. Both programs are being discontinued. Sadly, even those clients who had paid the hefty (and presumably once-off) listing fees just days or weeks before this announcement have been shifted into a program wherein they are required to pay a minimum $0.15/click for traffic delivered from the engine - or have their listing removed from public. This strategic backflip puts LookSmart in direct competition with pay-per-click search engine mainstays Overture, FindWhat and Google.

E-Mail, Web Boost Sales (CyberAtlas, April 10th)
As well as noting the findings of the DoubleClick/Information Resources study as profiled below, this article presents data collated from the Direct Marketing Association highlighting the cost-effectiveness of email in building sales and leads through direct marketing campaigns.

Study: Web Ads Work for CPG (internet.com, April 10th)
The findings of a study carried out by DoubleClick and CPG market researcher Information Resources, Inc. has added further weight to the argument that web advertising - and in particular banner-based cmpaigns - are effective not only in building the brands of comsumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, but can directly and positively influence sales.

NetRatings Buys Jupiter's AdRelevance (internet.com, April 10th)
While their merger may have failed to stick, online media research firms Neilsen//NetRatings and Jupiter Media Metrix are continuing their friendly rivalry as NetRatings antes up $8.5 million in cash to purchase AdRelevance from Jupiter. The Seattle-based AdRelevance supports media management systems that track online campaigns, sites' ad sales and advertisers' spending. Meanwhile, and despite the infusion, Jupiter execs have claimed that the firm's cash crisis is so serious that it may have to shelve operations - or carve the company apart further - in order to survive. For more on this, see Washtech.

Breaking Into the Big Time (TurboAds, April 10th)
Here, TurboAds profiles rich media tech and creative player Oak Interactive, whose product range includes a wealth of 'takeover' and beyond-the-banner formats aimed at grabbing attention for their clients. This exploration comes on the eve of the Israeli company's expansion into international markets.

Overture Results to Appear on HP Computers (internet.com, April 9th)
In a break from tradition, the paid search leader will deliver its listings to desktops in a deal with the computer-maker. Overture's results will be delivered when users hit the search button on their keyboards, perform a search from HP's default startup page or use the search feature that is built in to their web browsers as the default selection. An OEM deal of this type hints at the types of deals that were seen as make-or-break arrangements in the days of the OS clash and the browser wars, and thus may stimulate competitors to pursue similar contracts.

Nike Launches Soccer Game Online (internet.com, April 9th)
Further exploring the brand-based 'advergaming' format, Nike has commissioned the assistance of WildTangeant in the creation of an interactive online video game as part of the company's newest soccer-centric promotion. The advergame seeks to enhance sporting afficionados' alignment with the Nike brand, and additionally offers contest-style elements that will award the best players with Nike products as tangible prizes for their effort.

A New Direct Marketer Finds Its Way (ClickZ, April 9th)
ClickZ contributor Dev Bhatia observes that by trying to become an upsell machine, Yahoo! is becoming less like a media company and more like a direct marketer. This logic, while true in many senses, flies in the face of the view that many had (or still have) of the landmark firm whose management is presently dotted with ex-traditional media bigwigs.

Interview: TripAdvisor Advises Relevance (eMarketer, April 9th)
With so many newfangled, glitzy forms of advertising, hearing of a publisher averaging a 10% click-through rate may not make your head spin -- but online travel information service TripAdvisor is pulling it off with simple lines of text. eMarketer's Editor David Berkowitz consults with TripAdvisor President and CEO Stephen Kaufer on what makes these ads so effective.

OpenTV Launches Ad Server (internet.com, April 9th)
The interactive TV industry's largest middleware player aims to deploy a targeted, profile-based advertising solution that will serve as a foundation upon which the growing digital TV advertising market will grow. Using the software, a content producer or television network can traffic ads in iTV content and applications, as well as manage billing and campaign reporting. Additionally - and in a move similar to those adopted by the biggest web advertising players until privacy concerns curtails the practice to some extent - OpenTV Advertise ads could be targeted based on recipients' demographic or behavioural profiles.

Six Ideas for Budget Marketing (E-Commerce Guide, April 9th)
You don't have to break the bank with a big, splashy marketing campaign to get noticed. Some creative thinking will reveal how many low-cost options are available.

AOL Tests Hyperactive Advertising (MSNBC, April 8th)
Slowly but surely, the media titan has been accenting its various content channels with rich-media marketing elements that it hopes will see the company's online service receive a substantial boost in ad revenues. The new spots include everything from 'takeover' behaviours and motion to audio and video components in an effort to better connect with consumers.

Testing: Take Off...And Landing (Page)! (ClickZ, April 8th)
As an email marketer, you spend time crafting your offer, copy, headline, subject line, and all the minute details of the message sent to customers. You need to be just as conscientious with where they arrive once you get them to click. Here, Jackie Gallogly and Lynne Rolls take you through the basics of designing an effective landing page that calls to action.

Overture Sues Google (internet.com, April 5th)
Following a similar suit launched at rival FindWhat several months ago - which remains unresolved following a challenge of its legality - pay-for-performance search leader Overture has sued Google in a claim suggesting that the market upstart has infringed upon Overture's patent concerning pay-per-click ranking of search results. The patent (whose validity is being challenged by FindWhat) also reportedly protects Overture's account management system as employed by advertisers who use the service, and the company's claim against Google extends to account for this also.

ABCi to Begin Wireless Site Audits (internet.com, April 3rd)
The Audit Bureau of Circulations' Internet unit is taking its review process to mobile media, in a move that could hasten the development of wireless advertising standards.

Packaged Online Branding Solutions (ClickZ, April 3rd)
Savvy publishers know advertisers want branding solutions, not just impressions, and are creating products that deliver solutions to brand advertisers. This article notes what are considered come of the best such packages.

AOL Settles Spam Case (internet.com, April 3rd)
Though settled out-of-court, Netvision Audotext's agreement to pay AOL a significant cash sum to make a spam lawsuit go away may have far-reaching consequences for the affiliate marketing industry. That is, Netvision weren't themselves accused of spamming by AOL. Rather, AOL claimed that a select group of their affiliates sent unsolicited commercial email to AOL members, with the crux of the argument coming from the accusation that Netvision didn't do enough to stop or curb such action, and may have in fact encouraged such onslaughts. This development further clouds the barriers of responsibility in affiliate marketing, and will likely give several affiliate managers and networks genuine cause for concern. For more on this story, see this CNET News.com article. And for further information concerning how this could affect affiliate marketing in general, see this Refer-It piece.

LookSmart Inks Yahoo! Australia (internet.com, April 3rd)
The pay-for-performance search engine wars continue to heat up as struggling player LookSmart announces the landing of a contract that will see it's Australian subsidiary feed paid listings to Yahoo!'s Australian portal on a revenue-share basis.

Online Ads May Soon Take Over Your Browser (USA Today, April 2nd)
If ad technology player United Virtualities - the maker of the 'takeover' ad format Shoshkeles - has its way, web users won't even be able to keep their browser bars free of advertising messages. The group's new intrusive marketing product, dubbed 'Ooqa Ooqa', will provide web publishers and marketers with the ability to automatically customize browser toolbars, appearances and even (to a limited extent) functionality to suit their desires. This process will not require that the user download any additional plugins, as the functionality for this to occur is already built in to both Netscape and Microsoft browsers. While results of limited tests carried out to gauge consumer opinion about this new format are yet to be collated, the buzz from web users has tended to the negative at the suggestion of such a system. For more on this system (in an article that takes an increasingly optimistic view of the technology), see this internet.com article.

Yahoo!'s 'Opt Out' Angers Users (Wired News, April 2nd)
It would be hard to tag Yahoo!'s recent decision to adjust its privacy policy in such a manner as to automatically opt all of its users in to its marketing distribution as anything other than a desperate and insulting development. What's worse is that this has further jaded the net using public about online marketing methodologies and ethics. For more on the issue, see this CNET News.com article. Additional details regarding the effect that this move has incidentally had on TRUSTe - the organization lending Yahoo! it's privacy seal of approval - may be found in this Wired News article.

Is the Free Ride Over? (ABCNews.com, April 2nd)
This article charts the declining 'land grab' mentality as exhibited by web media execs in the medium's early days - when VC dollars flowed like rivers into the coffers of publications that offered access to their content for free. It then looks at whether the growth in subscription models, premium services and the like will continue, or simply provide those that remain free with greater reach at little additional expense as they gradually trim back expenses and claw their way to profitability.

Bertelsmann Reconsiders $1 Billion Terra Lycos Contract (internet.com, April 2nd)
The German media giant looks to renegotiate its agreement to buy $675 million in advertising, which could dampen the portal and ISP company's hopes for a pro forma breakeven in 2002.

Asian Online Advertising to Soar Despite Gloom (internet.com, April 1st)
No major geographical market has suffered such a slow acceptance of online advertising as the Asia Pacific region, where the Asian financial crisis and the after-effects of Sept 11 have further delayed the expected uptick of activity in the area. Now that net use has reached critical mass in many Asian nations, though, analysts see patience paying off with massive compound rates of growth in online ad spending throughout China and SE Asia.

Naviant Sweeps Up SweepsClub.com (internet.com, April 1st)
In a transaction that is said to provide email marketer Naviant with a launching pad through which to enter the pay-for-performance brokering business, the company has completed a bid to acquire promotions site SweepsClub. The deal gives Naviant access to not only a strong data collection platform, but a premiere client list that includes Ameriquest, DataDate.com, and the Republican National Committee, as well as e-mail list brokers like yesmail.com.

Auditor Expresses Doubts About Snowball's Future (internet.com, April 1st)
The once-mighty youth centric web publisher's future is under threat despite aggressive cost-cutting carried out by the firm's management during recent quarters. If auditor Ernst & Young LLP's concerns are anything to go by, it would seem that these measures have been too little, too late for the largely ad-supported group.

Bigfoot Interactive Reorganizes Along Verticals (internet.com, April 1st)
E-mail marketing player Bigfoot Interactive is taking steps to beef up revenues by realigning its sales staff along vertical industry lines. The move continues efforts by online ad players to eke out billings by honing in on particular niche industries.


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