Different Advertisers Drive Online Spending

Traditional advertisers continue to fuel growth in online spending, but today’s strong forces in interactive are different from yesterday’s, according to new research from Nielsen//NetRatings.

Researchers reached that conclusion after looking at the most recent four quarters, the period from the second quarter of 2003 to the first quarter of 2004, as compared to the previous four.

The retail books, music and movies segment, for example, bought 55 percent fewer ad impressions in the last four quarters than it did in the previous four, researchers found. Apparel and jewelry advertisers, also bought 40 percent fewer impressions during the last four quarters than they did over the previous four.

Meanwhile, other sectors have stepped in to take up the slack, as evidenced by the steady rise of the industry as a whole. Telco equipment companies, such as AT&T Wireless, have bought 157 percent more online impressions in the last four quarters. AT&T itself grew the number of impressions it bought by 122 percent. Retail grocery players also saw big growth, buying 148 percent more impressions. Safeway increased its online impressions by 440 percent.

The trends indicate online advertising is subject to the same economic rises and falls as the traditional industry, said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics at Nielsen//NetRatings.

“You’re seeing now that the same trends are affecting online,” said Buchwalter.

Nielsen//NetRatings also found traditional advertisers are fueling the growth in rich media — the number of impressions served doubled over the period studied. The researchers found that rich media now represents 68.1 percent of ad impressions served in the first quarter of 2004, as compared to 43.4 percent in the first quarter of 2003.

Fortune 500 advertisers were responsible for 32.8 percent of rich media ad impressions in the first quarter of 2004, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The new study will be presented Wednesday at the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco.

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