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Online Advertising Articles
(May 2002)

Unicast to Keep Enliven Format (internet.com, May 31st)
Rich media tech player Unicast, who recently acquired competitor Enliven Inc, has made the decision to keep its Enliven product alive in response to client requests. Unicast intends to simplify the number of options that the format presents in an effort to bring grester consistency to the market.

Engage to Debut New Ad Server (internet.com, May 30th)
Returning to its roots amid a financial crisis that could see the firm delisted from the NASDAQ or folded into its parent company, Engage has launched a new version of its ad management systems AdManager and AdBureau. Amongst the improvements present in version six are better rich-media tracking capabilities, support for surround sessions (or 'eSessions' as Engage has dubbed them) and the bundling of the data-mining ProfileServer product into the core offering.

Overture Wins Yahoo!, What Will Happen With Google? (ClickZ, May 29th)
As pay-per-click leader Overture and Yahoo! announce an unprecedented 3-year exclusivity agreement concerning the placement of paid listings within the portal giant's search results, questions are surfacing concerning Google's ongoing relationship with Yahoo. Presently, Yahoo pays Google to supply its highly accurate editorial listings where no Yahoo category matches are made. Google competitor Inktomi, on the other hand, may be able to offer Yahoo payment to carry their listings - which consist of both editorial content and paid-inclusion entries. This same day, Overture and AltaVista announced that they would continue to work together on a revenue-share basis. For more on that, see this Internet.com story.

FTC, Courts Nail Cyberscammer (internet.com, May 29th)
A federal court and the Federal Trade Commission have closed the door on a cybersquatting scam designed to snag lost Web surfers and subject them to a never-ending barrage of popup ads.

Research... or Eavesdropping? (ClickZ, May 29th)
There is a point at which profiling technologies cross the line from research to spyware in the degree to which they invade one's privacy. This article looks at whether a new product designed to deliver the skinny on user perceptions of products and brands may be considered a valid research mechanism, or an invasive device. Further to this, tech giant IBM has embarked on a mission to hash out a system that serves to preserve user privacy while ensuring that e-commerce merchants and other data-gatherers are not presented with false information as a result of consumer fears about how such data will be used. For more on their scheme, see this Internet.com article.

Best Buy Continues "Stick Men" Ads (internet.com, May 28th)
Consumer electronics and entertainment retailer Best Buy tomorrow will launch its second online advertising campaign, this time designed to promote its collection of movies and home entertainment systems. The branding campaign borrows elements from the company's first online buy in featuring stick-men in various depictions of popular activities (or, in this case, scenes from classic movies), and incorporates rich-media skyscrapers, banners and Eyeblaster takeover ads. Spending was not disclosed.

Travelocity Drops $40 Million for New Ads (internet.com, May 28th)
Amid guarded optimism in the online travel industry, the Web travel booker looks to promote itself as a resource tool, rather than simply an airline ticketing site. The expansive buy is also being placed to dilute newcomer (and aggressive online advertiser) Orbitz' ability to grow its market share post-IPO.

Engage Faces Delisting (internet.com, May 24th)
Embattled ad technology play Engage Inc, which shuttered its media division last year in an effort to stave its cash burn rate, now faces delisting from the Nasdaq in response to its stock price continuing to languish in the sub-$1 range.

Coping With SSS: Seven Seconds to Seducing Affiliates (ClickZ, May 24th)
With 1000s of options at their disposal, it's becoming increasingly difficult to attract quality publishers to a new affiliate program. This article notes (albeit in a slightly condescending manner) a series of strategies that an ambitious and conscientious merchant should adopt in order to ensure that his systems stand out from the crowd.

Hiding a Television Commercial in Plain View (NY Times, May 24th)
An NBC-owned talk show is offering marketers the chance to buy guest spots for their products and executives, further blurring the line between programming and advertising. This harks back to the earlier days of TV where products were introduced within the context of variety programming, much as was the established style in radio programming. This also comes at a time in which Hollywood's love of product placement is becoming all the more (painfully) obvious. In further TV-related news, the NY Times has reported on the methods by which some marketers are using direct-response principles to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns via infomercials prior to making the leap to prime-time placement. Clearly, this model could be translated to the online experience where direct-response marketing increasingly reigns king. Internet.com has more on the many tech players who are presently pushing their brands through product placement in this article.

Newspapers Look Online for Revenue (CyberAtlas, May 23rd)
Fading advertising income and their readership's response to newsworthy events has motivated online newspapers to finally embrace the power and immediacy of the Internet and to snatch back some market share from online classified and employment sites in the process.

IAB: Online Ad Sales Fell in Q4, 2001 (internet.com, May 23rd)
Though unsurprising, the latest figures out of the IAB that confirm a 7.5% fall in online ad revenue through the fourth calendar quarter of 2001 are unsettling to many in the industry. Nevertheless, fundamental strength in the frequency and reach attained by the medium at large and continued growth in spending on pay-per-click search listings suggest a brighter future.

Marketers Feel Slammed by Spam (ClickZ, May 23rd)
In an effort to further descriminate legitimate email marketers from their spammy brethren in the medium, a movement is developing to qualify list labeling to better indicate exactly how broadly the term 'opt-in' has been used. In an effort to stem the flow of ignorant execs into the spam pile, ClickZ has compiled a list of comments and suggestions as to how one may market a new product via email and other means in an affordable and ethical manner, in this article. This EarthWeb article follows on from the issue at hand by conceding that there still remain several gray areas in the spam debate - not the least of which relates to the exact definition of spam and the fact that little legislation exist that could be construed to ban the process of spamming outright.

Carnival Marketer Turned Silicon Sherpa (australia.internet.com, May 22nd)
Niki Scevak portrays the consumer:advertiser relationship as a conversation, and looks at how pay-per-click search engines are leading a natural evolution towards user-initiated advertising exposure.

FTC to Widen Anti-Spam Efforts (internet.com, May 22nd)
Building upon its recent successes in bringing large damages claims against fraudulent email marketers, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is looking into cracking down on enforcement on three new groups: senders of e-mail with a misleading subject line, distributors of mail that lacks a valid unsubscribe option, and sellers of "millions" of e-mail addresses on CD. While some of these efforts teeter on the limits of the FTC's present mandate, it is thought that the expansion of the agency's enforcement of spam-related activity will see unsolicited commercial email volumes drop. That, of course, is a good thing for both net users and legitimate online businesses. Meanwhile, the New York Attorney General's office has also demonstrated its interest in stemming the spam flood by by filing a deceptive business practices lawsuit to stop MonsterHut, Inc., from blasting out any more unsolicited e-mails. For more on that, see this Internet.com article.

DoubleClick Receives OK on Privacy Settlement (internet.com, May 22nd)
Despite objections from consumer advocates, the Web ad giant will settle its outstanding federal and state data-collection lawsuits.

LookSmart, AltaVista Name New Marketing Chiefs (internet.com, May 22nd)
Once leading names in the search field, LookSmart and AltaVista have lagged behind competitors Google, Yahoo and Overture in recent years. Movement is underway at both firms, however, with the two announcing fresh blood for their respective head marketing posts. This comes during a period in which search engines are increasingly moving towards pay-per-click models as a method of fully monetizing their services.

CMGI Bids for Engage, Lowers Guidance (internet.com, May 21st)
Troubled net investor CMGI announced this week not only that it and its Engage subsidiary would fail to meet guidance in coming quarters, but that their respective revenues in Q1 fell short of previous quarters. In an effort to attain greater control of its struggling software play, CMGI also used the time to announce that it had made a bid to acquire all of the shares in Engage that remained outstanding. The offer, made at a 20% premium, will bring the unit wholly in-house and avoid it being forcefully delisted from the NASDAQ.

e-Dialog, TMX Team for Rich Media (internet.com, May 20th)
Online direct marketing firm e-Dialog has united with tech play TMX to creates an end-to-end offering for rich and streaming e-mail campaign creation, deployment and analysis.

B2BWorks Lands New Financing (internet.com, May 20th)
The Chicago-based firm receives $3.25 million from current investors, attesting to the relative strength of the business-to-business online ad sector.

Seven Things Marketers Want From Vendors (ClickZ, May 20th)
ClickZ' Sean Carton reflects upon the tone evident at this year's MarketingForum and derives a list of seven issues that all online marketing vendors should ponder.

SMS: Advertising Novelty or Youth Gatekeeper? (australia.internet.com, May 17th)
This article serves largely as a case study for wireless advertising specialist Communicator, whose SMS-based campaigns for youth-centric advertisers have exceeded expectations in terms of popularity.

UK Online Ad Revenues Rose in 2001 (internet.com, May 16th)
According to findings from the U.K. Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, revenue grew 7.1 percent during 2001, to 165.7 million (about $240.22 million). The report is the latest testament to what appears to be the greater staying power of the British web advertising market.

Samsung Ramps Up Web Efforts in New Campaign (internet.com, May 16th)
The electronics giant is shooting for front-page, above-the-fold buys on no less than fifty major Web properties in a major effort to build prestige for the brand. The buy is estimated to result in the purchasing of more than 300 million monthly impressions and is reportedly budgeted above $10 million, making this Samsung's most substantial online buy ever.

Experian Aims for Multi-Channel (internet.com, May 16th)
Consumer data giant Experian is taking the wraps off its own play for multi-channel marketing dollars, with a new tool that tracks and combines shoppers' online and offline purchasing information. This move, while bound to raise the ire of consumer privacy advocates in its resonance with the DoubleClick/Abacus scenario of old, is considered an essential development in marketing, which is becoming increasingly dependent on cross-media synergies.

Study: Spam, Saturation Plague E-Mail Marketing (internet.com, May 15th)
Email marketing could be reaching the breaking point, with spam now comprising the majority of most users' inboxes, according to a data gleaned from a survey by Executive Summary Consulting, Inc. and Quris.

NetRatings, IMS Team for Reach, Frequency Planning (internet.com, May 14th)
In an effort to serve the market created by those who wish to apply standard offline branding and media buying metrics into the online realm, researcher Nielsen//NetRatings and software developer IMS have teamed to create a suite of reach and frequency media planning tools for the Web.

Dynamic Logic to Track E-Mail (internet.com, May 14th)
Online research Dynamic Logic is taking the wraps off its new e-mail survey product - dubbed AdIndex - which aims to track the branding effectiveness of online direct mail campaigns.

Who Wears the Creative Briefs? (ClickZ, May 14th)
In this article, ClickZ contributor Tig Tillinghast argues that creative design should be increasingly in the hands of...well, the creative. He then expands upon those elements that must be addressed in the development of an effective direct-marketing message.

DoubleClick Unveils MediaVisor (internet.com, May 13th)
DoubleClick's new workflow-management service aims to revolutionize online media buying process, by bringing planning, serving and reporting systems under a single interface.

Study: Number of Online Ads on the Rise (internet.com, May 13th)
Online media researcher Nielsen//NetRatings has - under a study conducted by its newly-acquired AdRelevance unit - found that the number of unique online ad creatives presently on rotation is increasing at a significant rate. While the study didn't extend to the measurement of revenues derived through such an expansion, it could be assumed that increased interest in web advertising will see revenue growth follow.

Text, HTML and Rich Media: Which Format Works for E-Mail Marketing? (eMarketer, May 13th)
According to the Opt-in news 2002 Email Marketing Factbook, 62% of global consumers say they prefer text-based e-mail advertisments whereas just 35% say the same about HTML and 3% say they prefer rich media e-mail ads.

Are You Watching Your ROI? (ClickZ, May 13th)
Nothing impresses management like having your numbers in line and being able to prove the success of your email marketing campaign. For those new to the scene, ClickZ contributor Jackie Gallogly gives a brief overview of the business basic of calculating ROI from an online advertising push.

eBay, AOL Renegotiate Ad Deal (internet.com, May 10th)
In what could be seen as a blow to AOLTW's reputation as a premium media outlet, one of its biggest online ad buyers, eBay, has renegotiated their contract with the firm to introduce performance-based conditions that must be met if the relationship is to continue. This comes at a time in which eBay's revenues continue their skyward growth pattern, while the mega media player struggles under heavy losses, write-downs and an uncertain future.

Sony Movie Marketing to Include Web Games (internet.com, May 10th)
Adding further fuel to the burgeoning 'advergaming' fire, entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corp has begun commissioning the development of a series of free web-based games that are designed to tie-in with their movie titles. The push will not only serve as a cross-marketing effort, but is being treated as a test of Sony's ability to deliver gaming content via online means in anticipation of the much-awaited online connectivity feature of the PlayStation entertainment system range.

Privacy Groups Challenge DoubleClick Settlement (internet.com, May 9th)
Years after the furor concerning DoubleClick's profiling practices came to public attention, consumer advocacy groups EPIC and Junkbusters are claiming that the proposed class-action settlement regarding the issue accomplishes little. The groups cite that the settlement asks very little of DoubleClick in terms of the media giant's responsibilities for altering its privacy policy to better protect net users from having their personally-identifiable data fall into marketers' hands.

Branding Ads Are Great. Does Your Client Think So, Too? (ClickZ, May 9th)
It's long been said that early proponents of online marketing shot themselves in the foot by focusing almost exclusively on promoting the supreme measurability of the medium. Now that a number of brand-centric technologies and methodologies have arisen to drive not only traffic, but recognition and emotional connection, will clients be able to shed their desire for measurability when embracing buys of this type?

L90 Concludes Internal Investigation, Restates (internet.com, May 8th)
Online ad network L90 has concluded the internal investigation of its accounting procedures and said it plans to restate results for third quarter and full-year 2000, as well as first, second and third quarters of last year. This announcement comes after the SEC notified that the firm was to be investigated, and is rumored to be a major contributing factor to the company's failure to seal its merger with profitable web publisher eUniverse.

Portals Rev Up Rich Media for Ford (internet.com, May 8th)
The U.S. automaker reprises and extends earlier 'takeover' efforts for its SUV line. Ford was the first company to experiment with the rich-media overlay format on a large scale - buying Yahoo!'s first ever front-page takeover spot for 24 hours a little over a year ago. This latest effort sees the campaign, used to promote the 2003 Ford Expedition SUV, expand to include spots on all of the big-three portals; Yahoo!, MSN and AOL.

Get More Personal - By Reading Your Email Aloud (ClickZ, May 8th)
Do your email messages to customers sound personal or like they've been penned by a faceless corporation? One way to find out is by reading them out loud.

Media Buyers Prefer Quality Over Quantity (CyberAtlas, May 8th)
Contrary to what many consumers may feel given the overload of marketing messages with which we're assulted while online, CyberAtlas reports here that most e-mail marketers opt for permission-based lists and take great measures to target legitimate recipients. Doing so is seen not only as good PR, but as an avenue through which to improve response rates and brand affinities.

Questions for EyeWonder's John Vincent (TurboAds, May 8th)
Marketers beware. EyeWonder CEO John Vincent is gunning for your television budget. In this interview, Vincent discusses his efforts to get marketers to cough up their TV creative, his opinions on Java-supported wireless devices and his belief that broadband will never completely take over the net landscape.

Search and You Shall Find (australia.internet.com, May 8th)
The tale of Australian upstart Sabela Media is one that will go down in the dot-crash tomes as a key example of the turmoil that hit some promising businesses as a result of mismanagement by would-be suitors. Nevertheless, Sabela's founders exited the experience with little faith lost in the web advertising industry. Since then, they have turned their hands to the search-targeted marketing under the umbrella of Decide Interactive.

Interview: Rapp-ing about Online Advertising (eMarketer, May 7th)
He's worked with just about every medium out there, and RappDigital Vice President Director of Media Convergence Jeff Minsky doesn't mince words when discussing the ins and outs of online advertising in this stat-studded interview with eMarketer editor David Berkowitz.

LookSmart Broadens InfoSpace Deal (internet.com, May 7th)
Pay-per-click search engine LookSmart today announced an expansion of its distribution agreement with InfoSpace. Formerly, LookSmart's contract with the firm extended to the provision of search listings to DogPile and MetaCrawler. Under the new agreement, LookSmart's results will also be packaged with a meta-search product that InfoSpace will be distributing to Excite.com and WebCrawler.com.

The Pop-Up Ad Campaign From Hell (Salon.com, May 7th)
While most web publishers and buyers employing the controversial popup ad format do so ethically by ensuring that only one window is launched from any given site, there have been many a nightmare story to emerge from the darker corners of the web, with tales of mousetrapping, hijacked browsers, spyware downloads and the like common. When such dangers encroach upon mainstream sites, though, you can be assured that it won't be received well. This Salon.com commentary describes one such hellish campaign that landed on eUniverse last month. A story of what not to do.

Bluestreak Buys E-mail Company e2 Communications (internet.com, May 7th)
Born a rich-media technology player amid much hype (and funding from AOL TW), BlueStreak again created headlines last year upon the acquisition of Engage's AdKnowledge systems and the integration of such into an ad delivery platform that competes with DoubleClick, Thruport and 24/7 Real Media. Now, the group is entering the email marketing business via the acquisition of company e2 Communications in an effort to shelve its association with rich-media as a specialty and branch out to become a full-service online advertising technology firm.

NetRatings, Jupiter Settle Patent Suit (internet.com, May 7th)
Continuing to die a slow and painful death (or so it would seem) following its failure in locating a suitor that wouldn't raise the ire of the FTC, Jupiter Media Metrix has again turned to competitor NetRatings for a temporary bail-out. In this case, NetRatings has distributed cash to Jupiter in exchange for a settling of their ongoing patnt infringement lawsuit, which now grants NetRatings the rights to crucial audience tracking technology, and for the purchase of Jupiter's European client list.

DoubleClick Sells @plan to NetRatings (internet.com, May 6th)
DoubleClick has sold its @plan research business to NetRatings for $18.5 million in cash and stock; at the same time signing a long-term partnership agreement, which calls for @plan and Nielsen//NetRatings audience and media research data to be incorporated into the online ad giant's technology products.

Unicast Acquires Enliven (internet.com, May 6th)
Amidst growing competition and a relatively static period of growth, consolidation within the rich-media space continues. This week sees mainstay Unicast (creator of the Superstitial™ popup format) acquire former Excite@Home property Enliven. Unicast is said to have seen value not in the company's pioneering rich-media banner technology - which it may fade out - but rather the group's ad serving and tracking capabilities.

Time to Tame the Data Jungle (ChannelSeven, May 6th)
Campaign performance data is of no use unless you can synthesize and act upon it. As the mountains of numbers pile up, and online advertising folks struggle in super-streamlined organizations, automatic optimization solutions are gaining currency.

Loyalty Pays For EmailCash (australia.internet.com, May 6th)
Where most in the loyalty space have suffered at the hands of cutbacks and a lack of corporate or advertiser support, one Australian firm claims that it has managed not only to grow its business, but to do so profitably by limiting its marketing efforts to viral processes, and by providing solid returns for its partners - despite the incentivized nature of the leads delivered their way.

E-Mail Marketing: Up-and-Coming in Down Economy (eMarketer, May 3rd)
e-Dialog reports that US marketers plan to increase the percent of their budget allotted to e-mail marketing this year. Just under one-half (48%) report that e-mail is a "mainstream" marketing vehicle for their company.

Study: Traditional Advertisers Using Rich Media (internet.com, May 2nd)
While rich-media ad formats still command only a miniscule proportion of the online ad market, indicators suggest that there's substantial room for growth within the sub-industry due to the fondness that traditional advertisers have for the spots. For more on this, see eMarketer.

Naviant Buys 24/7 Real Media E-Mail Unit (internet.com, May 2nd)
Continuing its string of purchases, direct marketer Naviant has added the e-mail unit of online ad network 24/7 Real Media to its stable of subsidiaries, creating one of the largest players in the space.

Buying Emails? Practice What You Preach (ClickZ, May 2nd)
It's easy to get complacent when you're putting together yet another campaign, but achieving superior results requires that you keep asking the tough questions of both your list suppliers and the systems that monitor your returns on investment.

Overture Sticks to its Mission (internet.com, May 1st)
Responding to Overture's loss of high-profile distribution partner AOL, this article describes how the pay-for-performance search leader's business model affords for this, and counters the battering that it took from nervous investors by claiming that the company's growth prospects remains strong.

You've Got Google! (internet.com, May 1st)
Search technology player turned pay-for-performance traffic broker Google has snared its greatest conquest thus far in signing a distribution agreement with AOL. The media giant will replace Overture's paid search listings with those from Google in a revenue-sharing deal that has launched Google into the upper echelons of web marketing. Their listings will appear not only through AOL's proprietary network, but on the search services at AOL.com, Compuserve.com and Netscape.com. And while the deal does seem a blow to the space's present leader, Overture responded quickly with a damage-control statement that aims to assure their investors and advertisers that the loss of AOL is but a marginal setback for the company's growing distribution business. For more on Overture's response, see this follow-up Internet article.


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