Slowdown takes toll on online advertising

Predictions that the online advertising market would continue to grow in defiance of the falls seen across almost every other sector have been blown out of the water by new figures from America.

They showed that, in the first half of 2009, internet advertising spending dropped by more than five per cent over the same period a year ago, as the global slowdown took hold.

Reporting its findings on the internet advertising market for the first half of 2009, the Interactive Advertising Bureau said that US advertising revenues were US$10.9billion in the period, 5.3 per cent less than the first six months of 2008.

Digital video advertising is the one area which is still considerably outperforming the market as a whole. It saw a rise of 38 per cent this year over the first half of 2008.

Search advertising revenues, too, continue to hold up well, and still rank as the best-performing sector of the market, taking 47 per cent of the total spend, compared to 44 per cent for the previous six months. Despite the strong performance of digital video, display-related advertising as a whole – including display advertisements, sponsorship and rich media – was down 1.1 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

Randall Rothenburg, President and CEO of the IAB, called the current market “one of the most difficult economic slumps in decades,” but added: “As the economy improves, we’re confident that brands will devote an even greater share of their budgets to reaching consumers as they make interactive media a larger part of their lives.”

Assurance partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, which jointly compiles the six-monthly IAB report, David Silverman, said: “While the overall advertising market has continued to be impacted by current economic conditions, marketers are allocating more of their dollars to digital media for its accountability and because consumers are spending more of their leisure time online.”

Steven Cox

Steven Cox spent many years as an offline journalist before joining Lakestar McCann. He has worked as a specialist correspondent for a market-leading transport magazine, a news journalist for major regional newspapers, a commercial features writer with the Manchester Evening News, and a freelance writer and sub-editor. He is now heavily involved in helping Lakestar McCann clients achieve wide coverage through keeping their news feeds updated, as well as in writing and updating on-site copy.

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