Beyond Interactive Axes 63

Online ad agency Beyond Interactive confirmed reports Friday morning that it has laid off 63 of its employees, amid a rough season for Internet advertising and marketing companies.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based firm, which is owned by Grey Advertising, disclosed few details about the layoffs, which occurred in New York, Ann Arbor and San Francisco offices. Most of the layoffs reportedly involved junior-level account people.

The news comes just after Alley-based ad server, rep and technology firm DoubleClick announced its first profitable quarter — heralded by some as a reversal in online advertising’s fortunes.

The industry has been plagued by questions about the value of impression-based banner advertising, and has been hammered in the public markets as hurting dot-com advertisers cut marketing budgets. This occurs on top of a historically soft quarter for ad spending.

But ad giant DoubleClick appears the exception to the rule, as Beyond joins several dot-com marketing companies in announcing bad news.

Already, October has seen layoffs from PopMail.com, Promotions.com, and TMP Worldwide’s In2 online marketing unit, which will be folded back into its parent. Ad-sponsored ISP FreeInternet and ad-sponsored Web surfing company mValue shut down operations as well.

Like DoubleClick, many online ad players are making efforts to attract more stable, well-funded traditional advertisers.

However, Beyond counts several dot-coms on its client roster, including PlanetRx, ClassMates.com and IPO.com. It is not known what percentage of revenue comes from dot-com advertisers.

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