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Online Advertising Articles
(February 2001)



Portal Viability Rests on Forsaking Banner Strategy (internet.com, February 28th)
Following on from the findings of Booz-Allen & Hamilton as seen within our web development/promotion articles section, this article reveals the recommendations pulled from that study. In short, since many users are treating portals as destination, rather than gateways, they should consider dumping regular banner ad deals in exchange for well-integrated, brand-building sponsorship deals.

eValuating Online Advertising (eMarketer, February 28th)
This feature highlights several interesting figures derives from a Myers Report survey of US advertising companies.

Web Advertising's Future (ClickZ, February 28th)
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter recently published an analytical report on marketing effectiveness, and discovered a great deal of positive attributes regarding online advertising - the most significant of which being that online advertising is better (and cheaper) at driving recall of existing brands than television, magazines and newspapers. This positive news comes at a crucial time in the evolution of the medium; just as online publishers and ad agencies are attempting to appeal to traditional advertisers.

No ABC, No Online Ads: The Money Men (The Register, February 28th)
Advertisers are growing more sophisticated in planning their online advertising strategies, and are calling for publishers to do the same by subjecting their sites to traffic audits by one centralized company, such as the Audit Bureau of Circulation, which presently carries out this service for magazines and newspapers.

Web Ad Execs: No To Privacy Workshop Query (Newsbytes, February 28th)
Junkbusters hit ad execs head-on in a letter sent to those industry figures scheduled to attend an FTC workshop on consumer profiling. In the letter, they requested permission to gather personal info from each exec, and make this public as part of the profiling debate.

Google Still Confident It Will Show Profits (Excite News, February 28th)
Contrary to the earnings warnings announced by many ad-dependent online properties of late, Google is sticking strong to its expectations of reaching profitability during the third quarter. It claims that the targeted text links it offers to its advertisers present a more attractive opportunity for advertisers than banners.

Spedia Launches Ad-Blocking Service (internet.com, February 27th)
In a move that could be seen equally as innovation and desperation, pay-for-surf company Spedia has announced that its latest ad-supported surf bar, Surf+, will come equipped with the ability to block third-party popup and insterstitial ads (while allowing popups from Spedia's advertisers to appear), as well as a controversial feature that promises to modify the appearance and functionality of websites that their user's visit by adding paid text links within plain body text. It will be interesting to see how publishers and advertisers respond to this. Express your thoughts here.

Cautious Reactions to IAB Banner Guidelines (Adweek Online, February 27th)
Here, Sean Brevick from BlueStreak offers a cautiously optimistic view of the new ad sizes. His conclusions are that, while the larger spaces will generate higher CPM rates initially, their value-related benefits will only continue while advertisers, agencies and publishers are thinking creatively about the strategical design and placement of such ads.

11th Biggest Website in the World Goes titsup.co.uk (TheRegister, February 27th)
Huge provider of free hosting services, FortuneCity, has faced deep losses of late, with little sign of increased revenues during the online ad downturn. As an unfortunate result of this reality, they have decided to lay off the vast majority of their UK-based staff in an effort to cut costs and restructure.

Now a Big Word From Our Sponsor (Wired News, February 27th)
This article breaks down the reasons leading to the standardization of the larger ad sizes, while pondering whether or not they will deliver on their promises.

IAB Approves New Ad Sizes (internet.com, February 26th)
Not since 1996 has the IAB made significant adjustments to its guidelines for establishing standard banner sizes. This Monday, though, all of that changed. The seven new ad sizes that have been approved are: a 120 x 600 "skyscraper," a 160 x 600 "wide skyscraper," a 180 x 150 "rectangle", a 300 x 250 "medium rectangle", a 336 x 280 "large rectangle", a 240 x 400 "vertical rectangle" and a 250 x 250 "square pop-up" ad. The adoption of the new sizes will be voluntary, but many ad networks are expected to roll-out support for these in the coming months.

Meredith Signs with DoubleClick (internet.com, February 26th)
Women and family-centric publishing and marketing company Meredith Corp, whose properties include the Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, and their online counterparts has announced that it will be joining the ranks of DoubleClick's Select. This move indicates that the publisher will have the ad serving, tracking and reporting for its online properties served exclusively by DoubleClick.

New Ad Format Gets In Your Face (Forbes.com, February 26th)
With monitor resolutions increasing, and advertisers demanding greater ROI for their online visual ad campaigns, the IAB is considering the introduction of seven larger ad sizes. The article memtions the correlation between these propsed standards and spaces that have been proven effective within the print publishing world for some time.

Consumers Want Online Content for Free (internet.com, February 26th)
Though many publishers are now looking to supplement of replace their dependence on advertising revenues with micropayments, donations or another user-pays system, consumers have expressed overwhelmingly in this survey performed by the CEA that they oppose having to pay for online content.

Ad Banners Seek Home on ICQ (CNET News.com, February 26th)
In an effort to capitalize upon its broad user-base, AOL-owned instant messaging service, ICQ, has quietly begun testing ways to add advertising banners into its software.

Internet Firms Hope Bigger Shapes Can Reinvigorate Web Advertising (MSNBC, February 26th)
Several major online advertising and content firms have banded together to propose the standardization of larger, interactive, adspaces that promise to do away with many of the spatial limitations imposed by the standard 468x60 banner size.

IAB Expected to Approve New Ad Sizes (internet.com, February 23rd)
In an effort to stem publisher concerns about the current narrow selection of IAB-standard banner sizes, the IAB has announced that it will unveil a new selection of creative guidelines next week. Based on experiments carried out by CNET and internet.com lately, it's expected that skyscraper ads and large flash boxes that encourage navigation within the adspace itself, will be amongst the new standards.

DoubleClick to Buy FloNetwork in Bid to Beef Up E-Mail Unit (internet.com, February 23rd)
With the banner market floundering, and DoubleClick holding comparitively few cards in the growing email market, the market leading online ad network has announced that it hopes to acquire major email marketer FloNetwork in order to get its foot in the door.

Banner-Ad Blues (Economist.com, February 22nd)
Although mistaken in some of the figures provided, this article gives a well-rounded view of the declining interest in banner ads, and where the industry will head from here.

ValueClick Earnings Beat Street; Sees Lower Year (Excite News, February 22nd)
Working against the trend, ValueClick's fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations, but fell in comparison to this time last year. Revenues, though, were up by more than 100% for the year, indicating that advertiser interest in the pay-for-performance model continues to grow.

DoubleClick Closes in Brazil (Las Vegas Sun, February 22nd)
Even industry leader DoubleClick is facing setbacks. 10 months after setting up a Brazilian division, it has closed its South American office, and returned its sales responsibilities to the New York team.

Internet Ad Firm Real Media Withdraws IPO (Excite News, February 22nd)
Citing unfavorable market conditions, ad software and sales firm Real Media is pulling out of its initial public offering. This follows on the heels of Burst! Media's decision to withdraw for the same reason.

Unlike Users, Ads Slow to Move from PC to Devices (internet.com, February 22nd)
Internet access anytime, anywhere. This concept has gained support by almost all major appliance makers and telecommunications carriers, but while users are keen to adopt wireless and other networked devices, very few advertisers have yet to set foot within the new medium.

NetZero Employs GoTo Search Tool (internet.com, February 22nd)
In another strategical move to expand the visibility of its paid-for-placement search results, GoTo.com has landed a deal to supply NetZero users with access to its search results.

Who Says Banner Ads Are Dead? (bCentral, February 22nd)
This article asserts that banner ads remain a key component of any well-rounded online advertising campaign. The article continues by offering tips as to how an advertiser can best take advantage of the medium.

Hill Holliday to Buy Interactive Marketing Agency (Excite News, February 22nd)
A member of the world's 3rd largest offline ad group has announced that it will acquire interactive marketing agency SF Interactive in a deal aimed at expanding their reach into new media planning, execution and website design.

Report: Net Portals Need to Abandon Banner Ads (Excite News, February 22nd)
Following on from the recent debates regarding the effectiveness of the CPC and CPM-based ad revenue structures, a high-profile consulting firm has encouraged the major entertainment networks and portals to embrace CPM-based sponsorship deals, and to abandon outmoded CPC deals entirely.

Tough Times for Tech Magazines (The Nando Times, February 22nd)
Just as pure-play internet companies are facing a harsh ad market, tech-biz related magazines have been hit hard since the boom ended. Such previously high-flying titles as Business 2.0, The Industry Standard and Red Herring have faced layoffs during the past few months.

Bright Spots in Glum Web Ad World (MSNBC, February 21st)
While analysts' views are mixed regarding when the weak ad market will bottom-out, there is little doubt that the softening has forced publishers to become more proactive in designing ad spots that appeal to advertisers. This article outlines the current state of the industry, while exploring the growths of interest in email marketing and larger, more intrusive, ad spaces.

Advertising.com Starts Web Coupon Service (Washington Post, February 21st)
In an attempt to increase lagging CTRs, while luring a greater number of traditional offline-based companies to the world of online advertising, Advertising.com is set to unveil a couponing service that employs geotargeting technology to deliver coupons to residents of certain regions. Delivery will be through Advertising.com's web publisher network, and will be served through banner ads, without the visitor having to leave the original page.

New Online Ad Formats on the Way (Upside Today, February 21st)
The IAB has long been criticized for refusing to add new, larger formats to its list of standard banner sizes. Now, in a move spearheaded by a group of large media players, such as Disney and CNET, they may finally be ready to roll out a new set of ad standards.

Increasing Net Usage in the US (eMarketer, February 21st)
The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released a report indicating that the number of active Net users within the US is continuing to grow at a strong rate. This article also contains a few interesting stats about user behaviour.

Computer 'Robots' Throw Advertisers Off (The Nando Times, February 20th)
With various automated 'bots' trawling the Web for information on behalf of search engines and other data-collection and organization companies, advertisers have raised concerns about just how many "impressions" and "clicks" they pay for, which are seen by robots only, rather than humans. Interestingly, this article ends optimistically, with the idea that we will never eliminate these valuable bots, so advertisers should learn how to take advantage of their features in order to generate free promotion from these crawls.

B2BWorks Taps DoubleClick's DART (internet.com, February 20th)
B2BWorks has struck a strategic deal with DoubleClick to offer a co-branded ad serving solution to B2B web publishers and marketers. The project, which will go under the name B2BWorksWare - Powered by DoubleClick DART will, as you might expect, offer their B2B partners the scalability and robustness of DoubleClick's DART solutions.

24/7 Looks at Ways to Boost Cash (Excite News, February 20th)
Struggling to stay afloat, 24/7 Media has delayed the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report while it evaluates alternatives to increase its cash position.

For Pennies a Day (Time.com, February 19th)
While the micropayment model has thus far failed to catch on, the launch of Amazon.com's Honor Program indicates the first major move in this direction. Bezos and crew offer web publishers the chance to insert a donation box on their sites, where any of Amazon.com's registered customers can volantarily 'tip' the publisher. If this becomes popular, it could prove the saviour of those sites who are finding it difficult to survive on ad revenues alone.

Yahoo! Changes its Tune (MSNBC, February 16th)
Only a few months ago, Yahoo! was overwhelmed with calls from marketers looking to buy ad space throughout their directory. Now that the ad market has softened, Yahoo! execs are seeing the value of cuddling up to the traditional advertising agencies whose services they peviously circumvented.

Domain Targeting: More Bang for the Buck (ClickZ, February 15th)
Looks at an under-used, but extremely promising form of banner optimizing; that is, targeting to host domains. In effect, software such as DoubleClick's DART can be used to deliver custom messages to, say, AOL customers or employees of IBM, through the standard banner space.

The Tyranny of Tracking and Targeting (ChannelSeven, February 15th)
This article sums up many points that I've been trying to make of late. In the early days, online advertising was touted for the supreme trackability that it offered over traditional media buys. Many advertisers, publishers and networks alike seem to have become so obsessed with figures like CTRs, conversion rates and other measurable figures, that they have neglected those elements of advertising that can't be quantified - branding, and soul.

Blodget: Online Ad Market Stabilizing (CNET News.com, February 15th)
Internet investment analyst Henry Blodget has found in his communication with the Net's leading ad-supported properties that the still-soft ad market seems to be stablilizing during February, which could be indicative of the market having bottomed-out.

The One-Second Law of Online Branding (ClickZ, February 14th)
Up until recently, online advertising's appeal seemed to lie purely in the accountable measures of direct response. Waning CTRs, and a rise in reports showing that online ads are strong brand-builders, though, have led advertisers and media planners to question how best to leverage the branding power of banners. Key to this is a finding by the Poynter Institute that suggests visitors spend an average of one second looking at each banner ad. This means that whatever method you choose, your ad should be able to convey its message or provide a hook within one second, lest it go to waste.

Online Ad Firm Sees Best Growth From E-Mail Ads (Excite News, February 13th)
DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan told investors at the Robertson Stephens Technology Conference that he remains bullish regarding the outlook of online advertising in general, and especially in the short-term growth in e-mail marketing.

Study: Search Listings Better at Branding, Sales than Banners (internet.com, February 13th)
A recent study sponsored by GoTo.com (but conducted by the reputable NPD research group) painted a particularly attractive future for pay-for-placement engines. The study went to far as to indicate that paid placement within search engines is a more effective branding tool for advertisers than banners or buttons. Read on...

Bluestreak Nabs $3 Million from AOL Time Warner (InternetNews.com, February 13th)
A rich media campaign production, management and analysis firm has announced that it has completed a successful round of funding that includes $3 million in funding from the newly-merged AOL Time Warner. Bluestreak is set to expand its range to support such platforms as wireless devices and TV.

Rich Media Ad Firm ePod Closes Doors (internet.com, February 13th)
It seems that the ad market downturn has now started to have a deep effect on the industry's technology providers. ePod, a developer of rich-media spots that supported navigation through the ad without the user having to leave the original site, has closed its doors.

Arizona Firm Agrees to Buy AdZone Interactive (internet.com, February 13th)
Executive Help Services has indicated its intent to merge with the online ad tracking firm in a deal valued at about $10 million. The resulting company, which will operate under the name AdZone Research, hopes to expand its service offerings in the field of competitive intelligence and industry-wide auditing through acquisitions and growth.

Congress and Cookies (NewMedia, February 12th)
A bill proposed by Texas-based Gene Green regarding the necessity for an opt-in process limiting marketers' usage of persistent cookies could, if passed, force dramatic changes upon the online advertising industry.

New Approaches to Ad Banners (ClickZ, February 9th)
Andy Bourland looks at thinking outside the limitations of the established IAB-standard banner sizes to develop creatives that solicit greater response rates.

Making Time to Save Your Affiliates (ClickZ, February 9th)
Manager of the ClubMom affiliate program here presents his tips for effective management of both your affiliate ranks and your time.

1000 Visitors a Day for Pennies/Click (Workz, February 8th)
Features an informal cross-comparison of click and conversion rates generated by the various pay-for-placement search engines.

Get Ready to Pay for Content (ClickZ, February 8th)
This article looks at the high costs involved in creating quality original content, and how the current advertising-based support model is failing to cover these creative expenses. The conclusion here is that readers will have to expect a user-pays model of content delivery.

In Defense of the Banner (ClickZ, February 7th)
Jeffrey Graham debunks some myths surrounding the effectiveness of banner ads, while highlighting many of the medium's greatest strengths.

Demise of Disney Portal Anything but a Shocker (Star-Telegram.Com, February 7th)
This article outlines the risks and opportunities facing content-based sites during the next year.

Report Says Online Advertising Still Works (CNET News.com, February 7th)
Jupiter Media Metrix has announced that most of the top 25 newcomer sites for 2000 received the majority of their traffic from direct-response online marketing techniques, proving that the technique does work when employed correctly.

Amazon's New Motto: Support Your Favorite Site (Techweb, February 6th)
With more and more content providers considering the transition from a 'free', advertising-supported business model to subscription or micropayment systems where the user takes up the bill, Amazon has made a push to lead the trend in donation gathering. Their Honor System allows web publishers of all sizes to place a virtual tip box on their site, to which visitors can make voluntary monetary contrubutions in support of the site.

Internet Ad Spending Slowed, but Still Grew in 2000 (internet.com, February 6th)
Media measurement firm Competitive Media Reporting has noted that while the growth in ad spending decreased significantly from 1999-2000 than the rate seen the previous year, overall ad spending continues to increase, as does the proportion of marketing budgets that traditional brands are allocating towards the net.

Lacking Business Model, Phones, AllAdvantage "Still in Business" (internet.com, February 6th)
Former AllAdvantage members know only too well that the company has, for all intensive purposes, disappeared off the face of the earth. Crisis consultant Marty Pichinson, though, reveals through this article that the blood is still pumping through the pay-to-surf pioneer's veins, as the firm's directors investigate where to take the company following its high-profile failure.

Ad Nauseum (CNET News.com, February 5th)
Looks at the techniques employed by "Spam King" Sanford Wallace in capturing and extracting value from his visitors. Read web publisher comments about this article.

Consumers Combat Pop-ups with Software, Tricks (CNET News.com, February 5th)
We've all heard arguments for and against popups, mainly relating to the irritation:revenue ratio, but the following article highlights some alternative viewpoints. The article talks mainly about various ad blocking methods, but also notes that popups disadvantage those Net users who have certain physical disabilities.

Report: Dotcoms, Press to Blame for Ad Market Negativity (internet.com, February 2nd)
Myers Reports has found by analyzing online advertising growth trends, and by conversing with several leading ad execs that the state of online advertising isn't nearly as bleak as perceived. The article asserts that the high-profile collapse of dotcom firms, in addition to poor earnings reports from other ad-driven tech firms has led to excessively negative press coverage.

Five Rules of Banner Success (ClickZ, February 2nd)
Despite receiving a bad rap of late, Christa Cravens discusses the undoubted value of banner ads in this article, while outlining 5 steps that should be taken in order to make the most of your campaign. Those are: 1. Choose your target audience carefully, 2. Tailor your message to the site's audience, 3. Constantly evaluate everything you do, 4. Remember that bigger isn't necessarily better, 5. Cultivate relationships with the sites you regularly use. Good luck!

Users Might Pay, but They Don't Come Free (ClickZ, February 1st)
With the supply and demand ratio within the online advertising world severely out of balance, and the industry struggling to gain acceptance from traditional advertisers, the key to success for many seems to be a return to the tried-and-true 'consumer pays' model. Subscriptions, micropayments and donation systems are seen as saviours for those who cannot survive on advertising alone.

AllAdvantage at a Disadvantage (internet.com, February 1st)
Basing its entire existence on the irrationally exuberant ad spending of 98-99, AllAdvantage found themselves struggling as soon as the market started its downturn. Cheaters, spammers, and unhappy customers added to the strain that effectively killed the company in January. The former market-leader of the pay-to-surf world now exists only as a software-developing skeleton crew.


 
 
 

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