Microsoft: No Online Ad Growth till 2012

clickz_ukandeu.gifThe online ad industry faces a bleak few years, according to John Mangelaars, Microsoft’s regional VP consumer and online International division for EMEA.

Speaking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe’s Interact Congress in Brussels yesterday, he said he expected little recovery in the online ad sector until 2012 at the earliest. “From a Microsoft view, we don’t believe budgets will go up any time soon, and I’m talking the next three years.”

He added that even established industry firms may not be as well placed as they might think. “There’s a good chance some significant players will disappear. Not a lot of people are making money from online at the moment.”

In addition to economic woes, Mangelaars also highlighted increased efficiency as a factor likely to stifle continued growth. “A lot of laziness has gone away. If marketers are reaching their goals with [their current budgets], why would they spend more?”

Ultimately though, he didn’t seem too worried about Microsoft’s own ad business, reeling off an anecdote about a grizzly bear (the economy) chasing two friends (industry competitors). As Mangelaars told it, one friend turns to the other and says, “I don’t need to run faster than the grizzly, I need to run faster than you!”

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