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Online Advertising Articles
(March 2002)

Q1: The Start of Something Good? (ClickZ, March 29th)
Rebecca Lieb of ClickZ reflects upon the quarter just gone and asks what this - and the expectations that it has triggered - says about the present state of online advertising. Amongst her conclusions are that not only has online firmly established itself as an integral part of the media mix for most marketers, but that many smaller businesses and cash-strapped industries have become no less than dependent on the medium in driving their growth.

DoubleClick Offers to Settle Privacy Suits (internet.com, March 29th)
The proposed deal would clear the firm of the class-action suits filed against it starting in January 2000, after the company announced its now-scrapped plan to merge online and offline consumer data.

Sponsorships: The Pathway to Clicks (ClickZ, March 28th)
It would seem that if less clutter equates with greater click-through rates, then brand-based sponsorships are the way to go. Strangely enough, though, site-wide or channel-wide sponsorships on niche properties have been a far harder sell than traditional banner, popup and text-based delivery campaigns in years past.

GotMarketing Lands $6 Million (internet.com, March 28th)
The e-mail marketing services firm's new financing continues a string of successes among providers of self-service online advertising tools.

Increase Your Click-Through Rate By 50 Percent? (ClickZ, March 28th)
ClickZ contributor Jeanne Jennings looks at how an email marketer may best encourage readers to interact with her email newsletter? She suggests that response rates may be increased by as much as 50 percent simply by making it clear with whom the reader is interacting.

24/7 Real Media Deploys Trade Campaign (internet.com, March 27th)
The newly-merged firm has announced plans to roll out its first major business-to-business marketing campaign, with which it hopes to build the new brand. The campaign is designed to primarily showcase the company's consulting division, but its core technology solutions will be given a revamped push also.

Toyota Pushes Scion Online (internet.com, March 27th)
The Japanese automaker takes the wraps off its new youth-focused brand, and is expected to throw heavy Internet advertising behind its launch.

Ad Media Pros and Cons (eMarketer, March 26th)
US advertisers favour online advertising over TV and radio, and value the internet's potential for speed of response, but they don't have high expectations for getting their money's worth according to eMarketer. Nevertheless, this conception - and the reality driving it - can be changed so long as players in the online space focus on making the medium gel better with established ad standards, models and procedures, state the contributors to this piece.

Overture May Mute Rivals (LA Times, March 25th)
In the pay-for-performance search market, no name is bigger than Overture; the company that pioneered the format back in 1997. The company's profitability in a down ad market, though, has aroused the competitive interests of others in the search field, with Google having already made a high-profile entrance to the market. As Christine Frey, an LA Times staff writer asserts, though, Overture's early lead has given the firm an almost unassailable advantage in its market.

Study: UK Ad Market Grew In 2001 (eMarketer, March 22nd)
Not all was miserable in the online ad market during 2001, according to Web researcher Forrester and advertising tracker Evaliant, which said it had detected growth in the U.K.

PointRoll to Launch 'Takeover'-Style Unit (internet.com, March 22nd)
Entering a market already crowded by competing products from the likes of United Virtualities, Unicast and EyeBlaster, startup PointRoll - whose specialties until now have been rich-media drop-down banner ads - is set to release an aggressive rich-media ad format named FreeForm that launches a takeover presentation once a user has moused over a smaller ad graphic.

Interview: Valuing More Than Just Clicks (eMarketer, March 22nd)
There's more to ValueClick than cost-per-click. The group's $128 million acquisition of Be Free gives the ad solutions firm new inroads into affiliate marketing. eMarketer's Editor David Berkowitz garners priceless insight from Elise Arthurs, ValueClick's VP of global marketing in this interview concerning the coming amalgamation of ValueClick's various interests.

DMA: Marketers Meeting Web Opt-Out Guidelines (internet.com, March 22nd)
Nevertheless, a new study from the Direct Marketing Association reveals a slew of other problems that continue to plague e-mail marketing.

Bounced Email? Deal With It! (ClickZ, March 22nd)
You hit the 'send' button, and your campaign comes back marked 'return to sender.' New ClickZ author Edward Grossman looks at why email bounces - and what to do about it.

Study: Web Ad Industry Facing Down Problems (internet.com, March 21st)
Contributing to growing optimism about the future of online advertising, research from eMarketer suggests that the online ad space is on track for growth in this and coming years.

Chief Executives Choose the Net (eMarketer, March 21st)
Through a study commissioned by Forbes.com, a team of researchers at Research.net has found that 73% of chief executives (CEOs, COOs, CIOs, etc) prefer to find out about new products online, and 62% believe online advertising is rich in information. The study also found that such c-level execs are exposed to online media longer than any other media during an average day.

How to Track Your Online Ad Response (InternetDay, March 20th)
In the direct marketing industry, marketers track the responses to their direct mail pieces so that they know which ads work, which headlines are winners and which products sell. Online marketers must do the same if they are to effectively gauge which creatives and which buys are producing the best results for them. This article highlights a few available products that can make this task a snap.

Virtumundo Sues List Sellers (internet.com, March 20th)
The sizable email marketer, whose database is composed not only of addresses collected through its own web properties (such as TreeLoot.com), but through purchased lists, is combatting the consumer complaints aimed at itself by lashing out its list providers. The company has thus far said it would sue two of its partners, claiming that they misrepresented the permission status of their lists, and sold several email addresses that are in fact nonexistent. The accused parties have denied any wrongdoing.

Study: Software Firms Shifting to Web Advertising (internet.com, March 19th)
A new joint survey by Smith & Suita and Marketwise Innovations finds that major U.S. software companies are cutting back on traditional channels in favor of the Internet. Yeehah!

Study: Email to Hurt Offline Direct Marketers (internet.com, March 19th)
In further positive acknowledgement for online marketing firms over their offline counterparts, researcher GartnerG2 has found that cost-conscious businesses increasingly are turning to the internet in lieu of traditional direct mail campaigns. Email marketing still commands less than a single percent of the entire direct marketing mix, but continues to its share at a rate far in advance of traditional media.

MMA Pushes Privacy (internet.com, March 19th)
The wireless advertising group publishes a set of preliminary standards for location-based marketing, amid growing efforts by interactive marketers to address privacy concerns.

Hit Them with the Right Stuff (internet.com, March 19th)
Wireless marketing campaigns may be largely fret upon by consumers. But the intimate and intrinsic qualities of personal phones and PDAs ensure that such campaigns have their value provided that marketers spend more time in understanding their customers' needs.

Who's Got the Key? The Vitality of Keyword Search Placement (eMarketer, March 19th)
Keyword searches are yielding high marks for traffic generation and ROI, and search engine usage continues to be a top activity of web users. eMarketer's David Hallerman evaluates pay-for-placement search options and models in this article, and finds that a majority of net users utilise search engines as their puchase starting point. Amongst the other encouraging finding was that advertiser satisfaction is greatest in pay-for-placement search buys than any other major online ad format.

DoubleClick Re-Brands, Releases New Ad Serving Product (internet.com, March 18th)
In an effort to further consolidate its existing tech product lines under a single brand umbrella, DoubleClick has renamed its hosted AdServer ad management system for publishers to DART Enterprise for its version 5.0 release. The new product incorporates superior rich-media tracking capabilities and attempts to streamline the ad management process by improving inventory management and integrating more completely with ad management systems external to itself.

Nielsen//NetRatings Gives a MarketView (internet.com, March 18th)
The new MarketView Web-measurement reporting system features tracking based on content and branding, and lets companies perform business-driven competitive analysis and media buying and selling.

Pay for Content? Whaddya, Nuts? (internet.com, March 18th)
A survey by Jupiter Media Metrix has found that most adults (a full 70%, in fact) with some online experience can't understand why anyone would pay for content. What's more, the firm has projected that revenues derived from paid online content - while a significant branch for many net operations - will continue to lag for several years. This suggests that online advertising, which seems so out-of-fashion in these post-bubble days, will remain a key source of income for online publishers and service providers of all shapes and sizes. For a different spin on the same story, you might like to read Wired News' similarly-titled article Pay for Content? Ha, Say Users

Study: Tech Marketers Cut Back, Think About Future (internet.com, March 15th)
Squeezed by an extended spending slowdown, tech firms have largely been focusing more on short-term ROI-driven goals than in establishing and building upon their competitive positioning. Finding from marketing consultancy 3Sixty Market View, though, indicate that marketers are concerned that by placing broader brand-based campaigns on the backburner in the name of quick cash conservation may keep them from successfully bouncing back to a leadership position once the economy improves.

Volvo Revisits Emerging Media in 'March Madness' Ads (internet.com, March 15th)
In another validation for the newest interactive media formats, Swedish automaker Volvo is reprising last year's efforts by again turning to interactive TV, rich media and wireless ads in a marketing push during the NCAA "March Madness" basketball playoffs.

How to Get Free Media Publicity (InternetDay, March 15th)
In this article, author Michael Low reveals five important PR success tips that every press release should incorporate - or at least consider - in order to maximize the chances that it will be picked up by reputable publications.

Interview: Defining Cohort Marketing (eMarketer, March 15th)
A person born in 1950 may be a different age every year, but he will always hold onto his Leading-Edge Boomer values. Geoffrey Meredith, author of Defining Markets, Defining Moments, tells editor David Berkowitz how online marketers can put such knowledge to good use.

Pop-Up Ads, Part 1: Good? Bad? Ugly? (ClickZ, March 14th)
It has already been over 12 months since popups started appearing on properties as diverse as ESPN, Yahoo!, MSNBC, LA Times and others. Nevertheless, reactions to the format remain bitterly divided, with some users apparently so desperate to rid the net of popups that they are willing to pay for software that blocks the ads, with others finding them an effective form of advertising. If the results of a recent survey conducted by Dynamic Logic are anything to go by, though, it would seem that the divide is gradually breaking down, with more than 70% of surveyed net users claiming to accept limited use of popups without derision. To give you an idea as to the appropriate frequency of popup intrusions, 47% felt that two to six ads popping up each hour is an equitable exchange for having access to free content. This suggests, therefore, that it's not so much that consumers despise popups as an ad form, but are frustrated at the frequency with which they tend to appear online.

Lights! Camera! Yahoo! (internet.com, March 14th)
The massive web property, now led by a former entertainment exec, is continuing to foster its alliances with the considerable marketers in Hollywood by scratching up a multi-faceted deal with Artisan to promote National Lampoon's Van Wilder. The campaign in question features such online elements as a mini-site developed to collect data through contest entries, and a series of expandable rich-media creatives that will be shown throughout Yahoo!'s properties in an effort to reach the 18-24 year-old demographic. It also incorporates several offline components designed to reach college students in as direct and entertaining a manner as possible. Yahoo! has additionally established an office closer to Hollywood to serve its expanding client base in the region.

Chickens, Eggs and Australia's Online Advertising Industry (australia.internet.com, March 13th)
Four of Australia's largest online publishers today released findings of a joint-commissioned study into the effects and drivers of online advertising in Australia. Now they are calling on the advertising agencies to recommend the Internet more. The trouble is, agencies are not terribly inclined to investigate or recommend online presently since it makes up such a small portion of the media mix. The first dose of irony in this mix is that online actually accounts for a significant portion of consumers' media exposure time, but commands a far smaller piece of the ad spending pie. The second serving of irony comes from this study's finding that one of the main detractors from online in buyers' minds is a lack of effective research into the medium's strengths as a marketing and branding tool.

Could Online Gambling Be Banned? (internet.com, March 13th)
The House Judiciary subcommittee on crime has voted unanimously to OK an update of the Wire Act of 1961, which bans interstate wagering. The amendment would make it clear that the law applies to the Internet and other modern communications (read wireless) as well as telephone lines. Although the proposal has yet to be granted the approval necessary to have it set in stone, any move to ban or restrict offshore and interstate casino operation online would likely have a marked effect on the online ad market. eCasino ad campaigns are presently aimed at general audiences from the world over, and are amongst the most active advertisers on the web. And while the new legislation will not end online gambling per se, it will likely force a rapid consolidation of the market, and constrained the survivors in such a fashion as to only target residents of individual states (chalk one up for geotargeting there). For more on how this could affect the online ad market specifically, see this additional Internet.com article.

Interview: Adtegrity's Potent Brew (eMarketer, March 12th)
Adtegrity CEO Scott Brew sees great opportunity for the months ahead, and he wants to make sure Adtegrity gets a piece of the action. eMarketer Editor David Berkowitz talks with Brew about his firm's inroads into the e-mail space and its potential role in the industry's consolidation.

L90 Fingers Homestore, Could Restate Earnings (internet.com, March 12th)
The strife-ridden Los Angeles ad network said it's taking a hard look at barter agreements made in conjunction with equally troubled Homestore.com, and may be forced to restate its revenues for two quarters in question. It has been revealed that this issue is in part responsible for the SEC's interest in L90's books.

As Standards and Measurements Evolve (eMarketer, March 12th)
Online advertising has grown without a sturdy foundation of standards, but the Interactive Advertising Bureau continues trying to secure the standards necessary to alleviate advertiser concerns and reporting discrepancies so that the medium may evolve as a mature marketing platform. David Hallerman reviews IAB definitions and industry usage of five key online ad measurement metrics in this eMarketer article.

DoubleClick Sells E-Mail List Unit (internet.com, March 12th)
Furthering its renewed focus on the technology aspects of its business, DoubleClick has offloaded its substantial email list assets to database marketer infoUSA. This marks infoUSA's first major foray into email list management, though this gels well with their established interest in maintaining up-to-date offline listings of contact details for major marketing clients.

No, Google Hasn't Sold Out (SearchDay, March 12th)
Google - whose roots lie in tech, but whose much-publicized Adwords Select pay-for-placement program has catapulted them into the echelon of performance-based search advertising - has been forced to publicly defend its new program after facing backlash that seems to have been triggered by some confusing aspects of the new system. Their position is clarified within this SearchDay article and this Google announcement page. This reaction demonstrated that consumers and webmasters both remain determined to safeguard the information integrity of at least some leading search portals.

ValueClick Captures Be Free for $128M (internet.com, March 11th)
Just months after announcing its intent to acquire ad technology and media sales firm L90, eUniverse has pulled the plug on the deal amid a cacophony of controversy. Major concerns were raised weeks after the intended deal was announced when L90's chief financial officer resigned suddenly, triggering investigations by both the SEC and the Nasdaq's listing board. At that time, eUniverse continued to express their confidence in the firms' unity, but that confidence came tumbling down when both the CEO and CTO followed their CFO in resignation, leaving L90 not only under investigation, but with the captains all having jumped overboard. Things don't look great for L90's clients right now.

Hey Big eAd Spenders in 2001 (eMarketer, March 11th)
According to CMR, eBay spent roughly $45 million on e-advertising in 2001, representing the most spent by any US company. Following close after eBay was traditional ad giant General Motors with $43.3 million. Further back saw a mix of predominently online-only companies and financial services firms, with Providian, Bank One, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com rounding out the top six.

CMR: Web Ad Spending Dropped 14.7 Percent in 2001 (internet.com, March 8th)
There's a number to quantify the online ad sector's woes during the past year, and it's 14.7 percent -- the industry's total drop in ad spending from 2000, according to researcher CMRi, a unit of Taylor Nelson Sofres. Nevertheless, many analysts are maintaining a guarded optimism for the present calendar year, with CMRi in particular predicting a measurable uptick hitting in the third quarter. Meanwhile, CMR reported that advertising activity in major media fell even more than had been feared last year, tumbling some 9.8% as noted in this NY Times article.

24/7 Real Media Sells Latin America Unit (internet.com, March 8th)
For the second time in as many years, the embattled ad player has pulled out of Latin American markets in an attempt to bring itself closer to profitability. 24/7 Media had previously shuttered its South American media representation services, but upon merging with Real Media, the group once again acquired a stake in the region; the difference in the latter arrangement being that the company was also providing ad serving technology solutions to the region. Under the new arrangement, in which 24/7 Real Media has sold its Latam presence to a group of local investors and the former directors of the unit who will trade as Realmedia Latin America, 24/7 will receive revenue kick-backs on sales of their technology to the market, while the new group will focus on the media side of things.

Guerilla Marketing vs Gorilla Marketing (ISP Planet, March 8th)
While developed specifically with small-scale ISPs in mind, this article contains a great deal of contrast between the expensive blanket-style techniques employed by giant companies, while highlighting the tight, inexpensive techniques that startups may employ to undercut and outperform their rivals on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Study Finds Growth in Newest Online Ad Sizes (internet.com, March 7th)
Jupiter Media Metrix has found that the larger ad spaces recommended as standards by the IAB last year continue to gain traction despite slow early adoption. The new formats - which include a variety of skyscrapers and large rectangles - now comprise about 9 per cent of all online ad placements.

Making Video Ads Work (ClickZ, March 6th)
When repurposing television or theater ads for the Internet, Jeffrey Graham suggests companies take some simple steps to better adapt the creative to the environment.

Gator Wants to Spearhead Standards (internet.com, March 5th)
One serve of irony coming right up. Former Internet advertising bad boy Gator (whose practices allegedly used to include distributing their application as parasiteware, and using this devious program to deliver popup ads that were designed to conceal other advertising, while presenting competitors with the chance to have their ads appear on top of target sites, without the permission of the site owner) now says that it's interested in leading the charge to bring self-regulatory standards to the realms of ad-supported software and pop-ups. In yet another bizarre turn of events, the group also recently established itself as the exclusive sponsor of a popular ClickZ ad buying column - the very column that previously unveiled many of Gator's closet-bound skeletons.

Online Ad Pricing: Count Heads or Count Results (eMarketer, March 5th)
In this eMarketer article, David Hallerman illustrates the various pricing models commonly adopted online, while pointing out the similarities between present trends and those long-established in offline media.

Keeping Campaigns Calm, Collected... and Creative (ClickZ, March 5th)
Does every email campaign feel like an 11th-hour sprint to the finish line? Is everyone in the office losing her cool - and her mind? From creative to coding to checklists, these tips aim to help keep things running on track - while still facilitating the creative thought necessary in fueling a successful campaign.

Advertising.com Acquires Scandanavian Shop (internet.com, March 4th)
Despite others' withdrawal from the region citing low immediate demand and high costs, ad network and technology firm Advertising.com has acquired Scandinavian cost-per-click ad firm Dayrates in a bid to beef up its international presence.

Jupiter Offers Reach and Frequency Tools (internet.com, March 4th)
Determined to branch out from its roots in audience measurement and research, where the company has not only been slaughtered by Nielsen//NetRatings, but had its merger with said group rejected by the FTC, Jupipter Media Metrix is turning its hand to internet advertising products. Its first major release, the Advertising Planning System, enables media planners and buyers to estimate the number of unique individuals they should be able to reach with a specific impressions-based buy, as well as the frequency of exposures that those users should see.

New Features Boost Flash Advertising (internet.com, March 4th)
In a effort to present advertisers and publishers with greater flexibility in content delivery, and to better position itself as a well-rounded content management and presentation system, rather than a mere (although powerful) animation and interface design tool, Macromedia's new Flash - version MX - supports a wide variety of rich-media elements. The new system is seen to provide a quick and easy way for advertisers to repurpose their existing TV creatives for use online.

CMGI, Engage Face Lawsuit (internet.com, March 1st)
Embattled web ad software provider Engage has been under attack by disgruntled shareholders for months now, and its latest proposal has set off even greater division, with the company, its directors and parent CMGI being sued for alleged breach of fiduciary responsibility.


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