Forbes.com Trumpets Success of “Money Back Guarantee”

Declaring its “money back guarantee” on interactive advertising a success, Forbes.com is launching an ad campaign to proclaim the positive branding results achieved by campaigns on its site.

Forbes.com attracted industry attention when it instituted the guarantee last fall, in an effort to lure advertisers to the site and increase the industry’s emphasis on brand metrics over click-throughs. The company required advertisers to spend at least $100,000, so ads would run often enough to have an impact. Advertisers like AT&T, Samsung, Acura, LG Electronics and BearingPoint took the bait.

Through research with DynamicLogic, the conduct of which was a stipulation of the guarantee, Forbes.com found that message association was boosted 28 percent by the Web ads, purchase consideration rose 14 percent, aided awareness climbed 11 percent, and brand favorability got a 6 percent boost.

“This underscores our strong belief in the basic viability of Web advertising in general, and on Forbes.com specifically, to build brands,” said Jim Spanfeller, president and CEO of Forbes.com.

Forbes has invested a great deal of effort into attracting advertisers for its Web property. Besides the “Brand Increase Guarantee,” Forbes.com has bankrolled two major studies aimed at proving the Web is a good place to reach C-level executives.

The online advertising industry in general has placed significant emphasis on conducting research, and trumpeting the results of that research, in an effort to win converts of traditional media buyers and planners. The Interactive Advertising Bureau is currently putting on a seven-city road show, during which it is showing off the cross media optimization studies it’s been conducting with major advertisers. The Online Publishers’ Association, for its part, has been focused on promoting the Internet’s ability to reach the at-work audience.

The ad promoting the Forbes.com program will appear in the April 14 issue of Advertising Age, the May issue of MEDIA Magazine, and the May 14 issue of Forbes. Company officials said they were looking into employing online advertising as the effort continued.

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