Gazing Into the 2009 Crystal Ball

In light of the economic downturn, will online ad spending continue to climb?

Henry Blodget, editor-in-chief of the Silicon Alley Insider, posed that question to a panel of speakers at the Digital Publishing & Advertising Conference today in Manhattan. He pointed to the latest pronouncement from Geoff Ramsey, eMarketing CEO, who predicts online ad pending will keep growing.

Such predictions, Blodget said, remind him of what prognosticaters had been saying back in 1999 before the dot-com bust.

David Cohen, EVP, U.S. director of digital at Universal McCann, said it’s too early to predict what 2009 will bring. “We’ve seen a very slight softening in the fourth quarter,” he said, adding that one key will be how retail fares during the coming holiday season.

Jeff Minsky, director of Next, OMG Digital, said digital advertising has been holding up. He said a downturn could bring at least one benefit. “If you go back to the last bubble popping, you had a lot of crap get out of the market — which hopefully will happen again.”

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