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Online Advertising Articles
(November 2001)

IAB Set to Weigh In on Impressions, Other Hot Topics (internet.com, November 30th)
Discrepancies regarding how different parties measure and report on impressions delivered has long plagued the online advertising industry's image within the broader media buying world. As such, the annnouncement that the Interactive Advertising Bureau has prepared a set of standard guidelines to define the best manner of measuring impressions is big news. The IAB also plans to clear the air surrounding its controversial compromises with Gator.com.

Sites Trending Towards Aggressive Web Advertising (CyberAtlas, November 30th)
This article highlights the growing popularity of aggressive marketing delivery platforms within the Web's leading properties. Such techniques, such as the usage of popups, mouse-trapping and aggressive search engine optimization may harm the large consumer brands that host such ads in the long-term, suggests this author.

DoubleClick Targets iTV (allNetDevices, November 30th)
Forming an alliance with iTV firm Liberate Technologies, web ad giant DoubleClick is hoping to gain a foothold on the emrging interactive television advertising technonlogy market with its AdServer product.

Unimaginable - But True (ClickZ, November 30th)
Tig Tillinghaust here examines several of the inconsistencies dogging the online media space, and suggests that change is in order if 2002 is going to exceed expectations.

Why We Can't Kill the Impression Just Yet (ClickZ, November 29th)
New trends are often kick-started by extreme measures, and just as CBS MarketWatch's decision to completely abolish the 'click' from its reported metrics, the NY Times' decision to dump impressions in favor of audience-based 'surround sessions' - while gaining support for what it set out to achieve - has been indirectly challenged in this article by an author who sees measurable impressions remaining as the foundation upon which online media buys are made for some time.

IAB Reverses policy on Gator.com (internet.com, November 28th)
In one of the biggest backpedals to come from the New York-based advertising group since its formation, the IAB has put its legal action against theftware player Gator on hold, and instead plans to promote that company's technology to publishers as a tool used to sell their excess inventory in a revenue-sharing arrangement.

U.K. Advertisers to Increase Web Spending (internet.com, November 27th)
In the first significant sign of a positive near-term upside in the online ad market, a survey conducted throughout advertisers in the UK has found that most plan to increase their spending on the medium in 2002. Similar expected increases in Asia, and even the U.S. according to some estimates, paint a rosy future for web publishing when compared to other media.

DoubleClick Debuts Site Directory (internet.com, November 26th)
In an effort to streamline and refine the media-buying process for its advertising clients, DoubleClick has drawn upon the resources of several of its units/services to create a directory of online media properties that contains availability information, tech specs, standardized popularity and demographic figures and the like.

Ads Without Content (ClickZ, November 26th)
This article concerns the developing debate surrounding scumware/theftware applications. Within, Dana Blankenhorn suggests that given a responsibility of marketers and media buyers is often to align their pitch with suitable content (and to indirectly fund the production and distribution of said content as a result), the practice of supporting the so-called contextual advertising processes of players such as Gator and Ezula who effectively hijack online space, while directly stealing revenue from legitimate publishers, may be unethical and short-sighted for advertisers.

Why Time is the Critical Metric for Online Advertising (australia.internet.com, November 22nd)
With the NY Times and others seeing the value in touting time or session-based units to advertisers, Clear Blue Day (not to be confused with defunct online ad player Clear Blue Media) is promoting an ad-tracking product that can evaluate how long an ad remains visible in a user's browser window.

Everstream, Concurrent Eye Video-On-Demand (internet.com, November 21st)
Endeavouring to establish an early lead in the much-anticipated streaming ad market, and specifically that related to interactive TV, pioneering players Everstream and Concurrent have joined forces.

The Impression Must Be Destroyed (ClickZ, November 20th)
Following the decision by the NY Times and others in the online publishing space to adopt session-based methods of calculating CPMs, ClickZ' Jim Meskauskas here proposes the widespread phasing out of the 'impression' as the leading metric in online marketing. So what does Jim see as the alternative? Well, part two suggests that fixed positions sold in the manner of print ads (CPM-based sponsorships) are Jim's ideal. This corresponds reasonably to the session-based sponsorship unit bing put forth by several major publishers at present.

NetCreations Dabbles in Single Opt-In (internet.com, November 20th)
Deviating slightly from its heritage as a manager of purely double-opt-in lists, NetCreations and its PostMasterDirect unit will begin selling inventory within client newsletters whose subscribers have not confirmed their willingness to receive such mailings. For commentary on how this decision may alter the greater future of email marketing, check out this ClickZ article.

Clear Channel Ups Bet On HiWire (internet.com, November 16th)
Streaming media startup HiWire - who is competing with such established players as DoubleClick, 24/7 Real Media and Interep Interactive in aggregating and selling ad inventory within online audio streams - has been given a great vote of confidence in the form of a successful round of financing led by traditional radio advertising giant Clear Channel Communications.

OPA to Promote 'Sessions' Among Members, Buyers (internet.com, November 15th)
Following closely in the footsteps of the NY Times' digital group, the Online Publishers Association has announced that it will be promoting the virtues of 'surround session'-based media buys to both marketers and its publisher ranks in an effort to make online media buying more congruent with the broader audience metrics familiar to traditional advertisers. More on this may be found at CNET's News.com.

European Union Eyes Cookie Limits (internet.com, November 15th)
In a move that could prove disasterous in the short term for web publishers and advertisers reliant on cookie-based tracking as a sales proposition, the European Union has come one step closer to making opt-out cookie tracking and other opt-out marketing processes illegal. If passed, such developments could result in ad networks and publishers having to acquire permission from every user who will be subject to cookie-based tracking.

Understanding Women (ClickZ, November 15th)
Impossible task you say? Well, maybe, but Seana Mulcahy asserts that understanding how to reach women online is simply a matter of paying attention to the points noted within this article.

Ah, You Want Fries With That Auction? (internet.com, November 15th)
Just weeks after announcing a massive marketing agreement with AOL that incorporates many online elements, Burger King has released information about an innovative new loyalty program that it will be running in conjunction with eBay. The firm is obviously one in the 'big brand marketer' space who has realised the value of reaching their audiences online.

Advanced Ad-Serving Features, Part 1: Site-Side Servers (ClickZ, November 14th)
BlueStreak's Eric Picard here provides a general insight into the differences between third-party and site-side ad management systems, before detailing some of the features common to those systems of the site-side variety.

More Staff Cuts As iVillage Hunkers Down (internet.com, November 14th)
Expecting its earnings through online advertising to fall during the 4th quarter of this year, and to remain relatively flat throughout 2002, leading women-oriented publisher iVillage has sliced 50 people from its workforce in an effort to trim down its operations so as to reach profitability this quarter.

Study: Pop-Ups Not So Hated (internet.com, November 14th)
Appeasing the concerns of publishers and marketers as to the long-term viability of popups and popunders, Dynamic Logic has found that while popups are far from the favorite advertising method as judged by a random sample of 400 web users, they rank on approximately the same level as television and direct mail marketing, and well above the universally-dreaded telemarketing. What's more, banners were received positively by mor than half of all respondents, with skyscrapers and IAB large rectangles somewhere in between the two online ad extremes.

Standing Out: Rich Media for the Holidays (TurboAds, November 14th)
With analysts from a variety of camps predicting that email marrketing will grow at a tremendous rate during coming years, and several worldly developments suggesting that direct marketers will jump on the email bandwagon this Christmas, comsumers are unfortunately sure to be swamped by marketing messages. This is no only trying for the recipient, but also for those marketers of the opt-in camp who are trying to cut through the spam clutter to bring their message to interested consumers. This article notes the work of one rich-media firm whose software apparently detects the recipient's system settings and customizes an information stream based on such settings so as to maximize its chance of being seen.

DoubleClick Sells European Media Unit (internet.com, November 13th)
Just days after the President of DoubleClick's media division announced his surprise resignation, the company has stated that it will be handing off its European media business to German adLINK in a deal valued at $27 million cash. The deal will not only assist DoubleClick in stemming its losses, but presents the company with a 15% stake in the combined entity, with the option to acquire an additional 21% holding at a later date (at no cost). The deal will also see both firms cross-promote the others' services, and will have adLINK transition from Engage's ad management system to DoubleClick's DART. DoubleClick's CEO - Kevin Ryan - also used this announcement to hint at a possible sale or spinning off of the company's US media division, and stated that there would likely be less than 70 employees working in the unprofitable division by year's end as part of the company's scaling down.

24/7 Media Sees Loss, Promises Merger Benefits (internet.com, November 13th)
Though many in the industry have started to consider media and technology player 24/7 Media an also-ran, the company that recently acquired Real Media to become 24/7 Real Media has announced claimed that it will use the acquisition to increase its technology offerings and boost its access to funding in order to power a turnaround. For the past quarter, 24/7 reported a net loss of $11.6 million on revenues of $8.3 million, with about 85% of their revenues coming from media sales.

Adtegrity Continues to Post Record Profits (NET-ADS, November 9th)
Michigan-based Adtegrity.com, a company specializing in advertising representation for a modest network of quality web properties, today reported a 15 percent increase in revenues and continued profitability for the third quarter of 2001. This comes at a time in which most players in the media representation market are announcing deepening losses and/or dramatic restructuring measures aimed at alleviating the full effects of the sustained downturn in online ad spending.

The Most Intimate Communication (ClickZ, November 9th)
ClickZ' Pamela Parker here highlights the possible advantages of communicating with one's members/consumers directly via the intensely intimate medium of the cell phone via SMS. This method of marketing obviously carries its fair share of risks, though, and must clearly be handled delicately.

Study: Consumers Rarely Use Ad Blockers (internet.com, November 8th)
In a stroke of good news for ad-dependent web publishers, Forrester Research has found that a mere one percent of web users have bothered to adopt ad blocking software. This announcement comes at a time in which the IAB has been challenging the legality of such devices.

The ABCs of P3P (Refer-It, November 8th)
Though this article is coming a little late, with publishers and online marketers having discussed P3P in detail since beta tests of IE6 started arriving months ago, those who have yet to update their privacy policies to conform with P3P specifications would be well-advised to read this article.

Salzman Steps Down From DoubleClick Media (internet.com, November 8th)
The suprise departure of DoubleClick Global Media's President Barry Salzman doesn't bode well for the future of the company's media department. It is, of course, too early to jump to conclusions at this stage - particularly since both Mr Salzman and DoubleClick have denied that the move should be read that way - but with media continuing to perform poorly for the company (accounting for more than half of the giant's losses), 1000s of publishers will be at risk of losing a major revenue source if the division is shelved.

Pizza Hut Takes a Bite Out of Yahoo! Front Page (internet.com, November 7th)
Suggesting that Yahoo's desperate attempts to capture brand-advertiser attention through its concessionary takeover ads have largely succeeded, Pizza Hut has followed Ford, Compaq and Pepsi into launching an online branding campaign centered upon the prime real estate of Yahoo's front page.

DMS Warns Marketers About P3P (internet.com, November 7th)
With the popularity of Windows XP and IE6.0 growing rapidly, the technological aspects of the P3P privacy protection features adhered to by Microsoft's latest browser have becom cause for concern and action for marketers and publishers alike. Those who have yet to explore te P3P concept and/or to develop a compliant privacy policy should do so as soon as possible.

Engage Struggling to Pay Publishers (internet.com, November 6th)
Bitten by the ad downturn and a decidedly bloated corporate structure, former CMGI posterchild Engage, Inc. has figured out after using money owed to publishers to fund its own operations for months that it is now unable to settle all of its publisher liabilities in full - even after slicing publisher commissions twice during the past year. (As a side note, I'm personally owed money from as far back as January from Engage, and am bitterly disappointed with the firm's management of their cashflow and affiliate relations).

Credit Card Companies Up Online Advertising (internet.com, November 6th)
Endeavouring to score increased membership and usage of their cards leading into the holiday spending season, the credit card distributors and financers are presently spending almost double what they were at the start of this year on online ads.

Where's the Real Risk? (ClickZ, November 6th)
This article by Martin Lindstrom endeavours to highlight the (largely underestimated) value of online advertising as an element in a branding campaign.

DoubleClick Beefs Up Network Rich Media Offerings (internet.com, November 6th)
In the face of increased competitive pressure, DoubleClick has enhanced its ad serving capabilities with a new tag release that supports a variety of beyond-the-banner rich media formats, such as interstitials, superstitials, odd-shaped popups, drop-down banners and more.

Max Headroom for the 21st Century (ChannelSeven, November 5th)
In its latest campaign, Rock the Vote combines its connections in the recording industry with a gaming style interface provided by rich media and animation firm Brilliant Digital. The result allows young people to interact with the animated 3D heads of today's top rock and rap artists, and hopefully engages them in the important issues of the day. This technology works to bridge the gap between 'advergames' and traditional banner ads, and could be indicative of trends to come.

Terra Lycos Tweaks Design to Lure Advertisers (internet.com, November 5th)
It didn't work for Salon.com. It didn't work for Snowball, but second-tier portal play Terra Lycos is betting that its superior brand and content offerings will prove alluring to advertisers now that it has revamped the design of its sites so as to reduce the number of advertising creatives on each page, whle increasing the size and pride-of-placement of such ads.

Brand Awareness Drives Online Shoppers (internet.com, November 5th)
Proving positive news for ad-dependent web publishers, but boding poorly for mom-and-pop e-tail outlets, the findings of a study conducted by Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen//NetRatings have revealed that 63% of online shoppers relied on brand awareness as a defining factor for deciding where to shop online.

Merchants' Best Gift to Consumers: Permission Email (eMarketer, November 5th)
Reflecting the findings from a DoubleClick/NFO World Report study into the preferred methods by which consumers would like to receive information from merchants with whom they've shared a previous relationship, thihs eMarketer article nontes that consumers are far more willing to accept opt-in maili promotions than traditional direct mail, telemarketing, sales calls or unsolicited email.

Burger King, AOL Fire Up Marketing Deal (internet.com, November 5th)
The multi-media behemoth that is AOL Time Warner has once again flexed its cross-marketing muscle in the snaring of an innovative, multi-million dollar Burger King advertising account. The deal will see AOL TW handle the online components of the fast food chain's campaign, while also promoting the company and its website through AOL Time Warners various offline properties.

Get Rich With Streaming? (ClickZ, November 2nd)
ClickZ' Rebecca Lieb here doubts the success that Yahoo! will have in its plans to repackage failed TV programs on its online streaming service for broadband net users, and suggests that a high-profile failure in this space would be as major a setback for the streaming ad industry as the banner-CTR drop-off has been for web advertising at large.

eUniverse Shows Second Quarter of Profitability (internet.com, November 2nd)
It wasn't long ago that eUniverse was seen by many as a certain addition to the dotcom deadpool, but a sweeping set of restructuring measures, coupled with the firm's decision to base its revenue model on subscription-based services and performance-based marketing has seen the company increase its revenue and profit margins amidst a trying environment.

LEGO Launches Online Holiday Effort (internet.com, November 2nd)
The company made famous by its building blocks has called on the services of web media shop Organic in shaping a web campaign aimed at pushing the brand, and the LEGO.com e-commerce destination, in anticipation of a bumper Christmas season. The campaign has included a variety of rich-media elements, such as takeover ads, interacive mini-sites, Unicast Superstitials, large Recs and more.

ABCi to Audit E-Mail (InternetNews, November 1st)
For a great deal of time, marketers and media buyers have been pushing for the introduction of a central standardized circulation auditor for the purposes of tracking the reach of interactive publications. Now, the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) has noted that its interactive unit will soon launch a service aimed to fill exactly that niche, by tracking and validating email subscription numbers and activity levels.


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