Internet Advertising Focused on E-Commerce, Not Brands

Advertising on the Internet is narrowly focused on e-commerce, not on building strong offline brands according to a study released by The Strategis Group.

According to “Advertising on the Internet: 1999,” the three leading Web advertising categories (computer goods, books, and credit cards) are tied to e-commerce. Advertisements from 13 of the Fortune 25 companies were not found on the top 50 Web sites, and many of America’s leading brands, including Wal-Mart, Pepsi, Coke Classic, Burger King, Nabisco, and Nike were absent from the top 50 Web sites.

The Strategis Net Presence Survey, part of the larger “Advertising on the Internet: 1999,” included 6,972 ads on the 50 top Web sites. Each ad was logged into a database based on its visibility to calculate the “Net Presence” of over 700 top Internet advertisers in 39 separate categories. Net Presence is a composite measure of Internet advertising visibility. E-commerce leader Amazon.com garnered the highest Net Presence rating at 57.6, but most Internet advertisers have a Net Presence below 2.

“Internet advertising is still in its infancy,” said Strategis Internet consultant Jeff Moore. “Advertising for consumer brands like food products and personal care products was no more prominent than advertising for online casinos. This will change dramatically as high-speed access gains ground and the ability to target consumers becomes more refined.”

The Strategis Consumer Advertising Survey of 403 Internet users revealed today’s low level of brand recall: 52 percent of Internet users had not clicked on any ad within the past week and 40 percent who had could not recall any Internet ad.

“We found that better educated and upper income users click on ads less often, but have better recall of specific ads,” said Matt Page, co-author of the study. Amazon.com also topped the list of advertisers recalled by consumers.


Internet’s Most Visible Advertisers
Rank Advertiser Category Net Presence
1. Amazon Books 57.6
2. Barnes & Noble Books 56.1
3. Microsoft Computer/Portal 42.0
4. NextCard Visa Credit Cards 39.2
5. CDnow.com Music 35.1
6. First USA Credit Cards 26.5
7. 1-800-Flowers Flowers 25.6
8. eBay Auction sites 25.0
9. Enews Gen. Merchandise 16.8
10. Network Solutions Site Services 16.7
11. Lowestfare Travel 16.5
12. Onsale Computer 14.5
13. Visa Credit Cards 13.1
14. Sun Microsystems Computer 12.8
15. General Motors Autos 12.7
Source: The Strategis Group, Inc.

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