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Online Advertising Articles
(July 2002)

AOL's New Beta is 'Fat' with Graphics (internet.com, July 30th)
America Online has released version 8.0 of its e-mail client to beta testers, and the buzz is that it's a significant improvement featuring more personalization, more rich media and more room for ad units.

Unicast Pitches "One-Stop Shop" (internet.com, July 29th)
Rich media firm Unicast is looking to become the sole provider of third-party formats, introducing a new unit and touting the benefits of standardizing on its platform. This move, which will see Unicast become the sole distributor of Ad4Ever's TopLayer takeover ad format in the U.S., sees the firm edge in on the territories maintained by Eyeblaster, Bluestreak and United Virtualities, and is sure to ruffle feathers accordingly.

iVillage to Quit Pop-Ups (internet.com, July 29th)
The company says its audience finds the format annoying - and that it hurts advertisers' brands. External observers of the decision, though, have questioned iVillage's motives and suggested that the move may be more of a publicity stunt for the fiscally-starved firm than a genuine criticism of the popular format. Public discussion of the company's decision may be found at Geek/Talk. More on the decision and the internal battle that's still raging over intrusive advertising forms is mentioned in this article from ABC News.

Evaluating E-Mail Marketing Effectiveness (Or Not) (eMarketer, July 29th)
A recent study has shown, counter-intuitively, that majority of US marketers don't track e-mail campaign effectiveness. What's more, for those that do, somewhat-outmoded and inconsequential metrics such as click-through rates remain popular while branding is seldom studied.

Users Divided On the Meaning of Spam (ElectricNews.net, July 29th)
Businesses in the US and UK agree that spam is a problem, but according to MessageLabs many users cannot reach a consensus on its definition. This realization would come as no surprise to online marketing professionals, who have witnessed years of industry and legal disputes concerning the definition of spam.

Overture, LookSmart Continue Growth (internet.com, July 26th)
The two paid listings veterans post promising numbers, though the looming presence of Google and concerns regarding Overture's bid management ethics could weigh on future performance.

Making Pop-Under Ads Work? (ClickZ, July 25th)
In this article, Tessa Wegert looks at how Orbitz' careful, creative approach to the still-somewhat-controversial popunder ad format is winning them customers, without degrading brand loyalty or appeal.

Studies Tout Online Audiences (internet.com, July 24th)
The much-anticipated results from the study commissioned by DoubleClick and the Online Publishers Association have been published. Notably, the study highlighted the fact that the audiences of major websites are comparable in size and quality to those attracted by the biggest free-to-air television networks and print publications. The study also confirmed earlier data suggesting the comparable strength of the net as a branding medium.

Flash! Pop! Tilt! (ABC News, July 24th)
Tilting airplanes, bouncing cell phones and Robin Williams riffing on stage. Internet advertising is becoming more creative than ever. So why aren't the biggest advertisers buying? The team at ABCNews' MoneyScope explores the trends.

A Year Later: Still More Confessions of an E-Newsletter Publisher (ClickZ, July 24th)
ClickZ contributor Debbie Weil celebrates her e-newsletter's first birthday with a reflection upon its growing pains, the many lessons learned, and the beginnings of some revenue flow. Email and mini-site newbies will likely find great value in these tips.

Buying vs. Leasing Search Engine Traffic (SearchDay, July 23rd)
When considering search engine marketing strategies, it's important to consider both short term and long term approaches, or "leasing" vs. "buying" Web site traffic. That is, this article ponders the delicate balance that must be maintained between old-school search engine optimization and the purchasing of placements on pay-per-click search engines.

David Lidsky: Don't Complain About Ads - Find Creative Ways to Use Them (SiliconValley.com, July 23rd)
Swimming in satire and sarcasm, this piece by David Lidsky does a great job of expressing the intersecting - and sometimes uneasy - sentiments of consumers and publishers working in the interactive space.

Let's Get Analytical (ClickZ, July 22nd)
When it comes to Web marketing, ignorance is not bliss. This article highlights the oft-mentioned but lately-sidelined strengths associated with the data presented by web campaigns. It's author suggests that while click through ratios (CTRs) may be dead as a viable and accurate form of anaytics, several important metrics can assist in determining a campaign's value, and optimizing its run.

Earthlink Wins $25 Million in Spam Suit (internet.com, July 22nd)
Though it may never see the money, the popular U.S.-based ISP attains a legal victory in its attempts to thwart bogus and bulk e-mail offers.

MSN, eDiets in $9 Million Ad Deal (internet.com, July 22nd)
Yet another major online advertiser has chosen this month to announce its plans to embark on a campaign of record-breaking scope. The latest deal involves eDiets booking a $9.1 million campaign across MSN's various properties that incorporates banners, mini-sites, advertorial content and related elements.

E-Mail Marketing: Spending Low, but Budgets Grow (eMarketer, July 22nd)
E-mail marketing is considered cost-effective and provides a host of different returns. Nevertheless, spending on the medium has remained comparitively low in relation to overall online media budgets. Here, eMarketer analyzes those reports which point to e-mail marketing budget growth in the near future.

Industry Spending on Interactive Marketing (eMarketer, July 20th)
The DMA estimates that US interactive direct marketing spending will total $8.4 billion by 2006 and sales will surpass $81 billion by that time. This marks a substantial increase from 2000 levels of $3.2 billion and 2002 projections of $4 billion.

Google Bumps Overture From Jeeves (internet.com, July 19th)
Scoring another coup in an increasingly heated turf war between the pay-per-click search players, upstart Google has added Ask Jeeves to the roster of distribution partners that it has won from competitor Overture. The signing of Ask Jeeves follows Google's ousting of Overture listings from EarthLink's search and, more recently, the popular AOL search portal.

Partner's Woes Prompt DoubleClick Asia Revamp (internet.com, July 19th)
Following the liquidation of Asiacontent.com, DoubleClick's partner in the struggling DoubleClick Asia venture, the Asian online advertising business will restructure. Core to the restructuring process will be the shelving of all media sales activities. This news comes just weeks after DoubleClick's American outfit similarly announced a total exit from the media business to favor their provision of technology and advertising services. DoubleClick's only remaining media presence exists in Japan, where favorable advertising conditions have seen some ad-supported net firms - such as Yahoo! Japan - perform admirably.

Study: Major Sites Missing Out on B2B Ad Dollars (internet.com, July 19th)
Business-to-business marketers lag in moving to the Internet due to Web media's inability to tightly target and segment audiences, according to a new study from research firm GartnerG2. The study suggested that the development of niche subscription bases and business services may assist publishers in identifying and segmenting much-needed and highly desirable B2B audiences.

ANA, 4As Launch Digital Ad Codes (internet.com, July 16th)
The nation's two largest advertising groups are looking to advances in technology to improve cross-media accountability, with the creation of a new body to administer the first-ever digital identification codes for all types of advertisements.

Amazon.com Enters the Web Services Age (internet.com, July 16th)
The retail giant launches a platform that will allow those publishers participating in its hugely-popular affiliate program to create applications and tools that import Amazon content, features, and hopefully, sales.

Yahoo! Firms Up Rich Media Partnerships (internet.com, July 15th)
Opting to sure up its relationship with rich-media vendors such as Point-Roll, EyeWonder, Eyeblaster and Unicast, Yahoo! has made the decision to drop its in-house efforts at producing a single proprietary rich-media format for its advertisers and will instead add the third-party formats to its regular sales offerings.

E-Mail List Rental: Smart Move or Big Mistake? (eMarketer, July 15th)
E-mail marketers are digging up many a broken vessel in the quest for their Holy Grail. The search for a perfect list may best commence by looking in-house.

Judge Clamps Down On Gator (internet.com, July 12th)
The controversial Gator Corporation won't be placing predatory pop-up ads on a number of Web sites for a while, as a result of a temporary injunction handed down by a federal judge.

AIM 5.0 to Feature Themes, Bigger Ads (internet.com, July 12th)
Following the lead of Yahoo!, AOL Time Warner is looking to add new opportunities for customization and advertising with its popular instant messenger application. The latest update to AOL Instant Messenger grants advertisers a greater share of space on the messenger's chat interface, supports custom skins that are themed to an advertiser's brand, and supports rich-media elemtns that escape the chat window and move around a user's desktop.

Book Review: Dru's Clues (E-Commerce Guide, July 12th)
Jonathan Jackson reviews Beyond Disruption, the latest book from Jean-Marie Dru and his colleagues at mega-agency TBWA, which demonstrates how companies can push the marketing envelope to create breakthrough advertising and marketing campaigns.

Interview: L90 Does a 180 (eMarketer, July 11th)
When Sony veteran Mitchell Cannold grabbed the reins at L90, he dreamed of making big changes. The company just acquired DoubleClick's media business and changed its name. That's just the beginning.

Good Media, Bad Creative (ClickZ, July 10th)
For too long, the increased measureability of online campaigns has resulted in publishers taking the fall for campaign failures in cases where the folks who created the ads are the ones who should be held accountable for a perceived failure.

Local Newspaper Site Visitor Surge (eMarketer, July 10th)
Thinking about advertising on local newspaper websites? comScore Media Metrix found that between December 2001 and May 2002, the number of local newspaper site visitors in the top DMAs increased by much higher percentages than the number of general net users in the areas. Plus, news site visitors spend more money online than average net users. More on this trend may be found at CyberAtlas.

Yahoo! Tops Estimates (internet.com, July 10th)
After falling into the red for six straight quarters following the end of the dotcom bubble age, portal bellweather Yahoo! announced a return to profitability during the second calendar quarter of this year. While the company's media revenues did increase slightly, the company has given the credit for its positive results to its increased operation of paid classified, matchmaking and employment services, in addition to the monetization of its search results through the employment of pay-per-click search listings.

'Going Negative' Is the Way to Go (ClickZ, July 10th)
Although found to be out of vogue in recent years, Tig Tillinghast is calling on advertising creatives to again consider 'negative' advertising, which serves to point our weaknesses in competitors' product ranges to indirectly beef up one's own market impression. The tactic has always attracted controversy, and Tig has also noted some cases in which campaigns failed due to their inaccuracy, broadness or inconsistent voice.

Mobile Spam on the Rise (BBC News, July 8th)
Unwanted text messages are becoming a growing nuisance for UK consumers, who are often confused about how they received such messages. This suggests that efforts by several wireless advertising groups to establish ethical opt-in marketing processes may have been largely ignored by a certain element in the industry.

Why Interactive Marketing & Privacy Must Mix (eMarketer, July 8th)
With studies and public opinion confirming that online privacy is no longer solely an issue of the paranoid, but that a majority of internet users are very interested in the issue, it becomes clear that interactive advertisers and web publishers must take notice.

PVR Users Skip 71% of Ads (internet.com, July 3rd)
TiVo, ReplayTV and new software for PCs appear to be eroding television ad-watching - which could in turn bolster spending on online and iTV ads.

24/7 Real Media Lands Financing (internet.com, July 3rd)
The once-much-maligned online ad technology and media player 24/7 Real Media has been given a vote of confidence in the form of a substantial equity investment from Sunra Capital Holdings Limited. The investment house has provided 24/7 with approximately $5 million of funding in exchange for preferred stock and a seat on the company's board of directors. 24/7 has stated that the funding was not needed in order to support the company towards its goal of reaching break-even this year, but will assist in strengthening the group's foothold on two competitive markets, where L90/MaxWorldwide and DoubleClick stand poised to snap up marketshare if 24/7 were to let its guard down or run into financial turmoil again.

comScore to Expand Media Metrix (internet.com, July 2nd)
Just weeks after closing on its purchase of Media Metrix from an ailing Jupiter Media Metrix, Web researcher comScore Networks said that it's increased the size of its new Internet audience ratings panel, and will continue to support it alongside its flagship service.

DoubleClick Exits Media Business (internet.com, July 1st)
The big news of the month is in. Online ad giant DoubleClick will finally be exiting the media business in its entirety - palming their media assets off to embattled ad player L90, who has been through its fair share of controversy of late. DoubleClick's decision comes as little surprise to most in the industry. The group has been hedging their way out of the lossy media business for more than a year. Nevertheless, their media service remained an industry leader throughout its lifespan, and will now serve to make L90 - to be rebranded MaxWorldwide in the wake of the acquisition - the undisputed market leader in terms of reach, and a force to rival the big-3 portals. Read active discussion on the development here.

Online Advertising Grows Up (eMarketer, July 1st)
AdRelevance recently published a review of the online ad market, noting an increase in average number of pixels claimed by e-ads rising to 37,799 in Q1 2002. This is up from an average of 22,582 in Q1 2001, and suggests a trend moving towards the larger ad sizes that the IAB suggested as standards early in 2001.

FTC Warns Sites on Paid Listings (internet.com, July 1st)
The Federal Trade Commission is recommending that web sites using paid search listings make their advertising practices and policies clearers to consumers - or they could potentially face legal action. To set their determination in motion, the commission has contacted several leading search portals to reiterate the sentiment expressed by Ralph Nader's Commercial Alert late last year.

Dot-Com Noir (Salon.com, July 1st)
When Internet marketing goes sour: Salon.com brings you a sordid tale of search engine optimization, spyware, "junk traffic," bodybuilding and a half-baked plan for Hollywood glory that you'll find hard to believe.


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