Internet Drawing More Advertisers Online

The number of new companies advertising online has more than doubled since January — growing by 157 percent over the past ten months, according to Jupiter Media Metrix’s AdRelevance, but another firm found that some of the biggest Fortune 500 names are staying away from the Net.

AdRelevance tracked and analyzed traditional and dot-com advertisers coming online for the first time between January 2000 and October 2000.

According to the findings, the number of new companies advertising online is growing at an average rate of 14 percent a month. Almost a quarter of the 3,963 companies advertising on the Web in the month of January were new.

While traditional advertisers accounted for approximately 41 percent of the top 100 new online advertisers in January — ranked by impression — they made up half in October, according to the study.

“The latest AdRelevance data clearly illustrate that new advertisers are coming online on a regular basis. Despite a financially slower third quarter, it’s interesting to note that far more advertisers came online for the first time in August than in any month prior to it this year,” said Charlie Buchwalter, VP of media research for AdRelevance. “Even more compelling is the fact that new traditional advertisers are growing at a faster rate than new dot-com advertisers. Fifty percent of the top 100 new advertisers in October were traditional companies — in January they only made up 41 percent.”

More than 1,000 companies have advertised online for the first time each month since March 2000. Third quarter of this year saw 5,489 new advertisers coming online — surpassing first quarter (2,935 new advertisers) and second quarter (3,879 new advertisers).

Planet Project was the top new online advertiser for October, running a campaign with 110,000,000 impressions. Other top new advertisers for the month include: Major League Soccer (30,000,000 impressions), Norelco (16,000,000), Saks Fifth Avenue (11,000,000), 1800LUGGAGE.com (9,200,000), mailsweeps.com (6,800,000) and education.com (7,500,000).

“When we look at the overall industry, dot-coms still outpace traditional companies,” said Marc Ryan, AdRelevance’s director of media research.

“The top 100 contributes to the way we see where new companies are coming from. [Monday’s findings] suggests that traditional companies are in the new realm of companies that are coming online.”

“This is one of the trends we have been anticipating for a while and hadn’t really seen,” Ryan said.

Even though more companies may be joining the ranks of online advertisers, top companies in the Fortune 500 list aren’t among them. According to ad spending metrics firm AdZone Interactive, of the estimated $1.6 billion spent in the month of September on Internet advertising, the top 10 Fortune 500 companies contributed less than $50 million.

Walt Disney Inc., which ranks 66th on the Fortune 500 list, was the leading Web advertiser among Fortune 500 companies. Disney spent an estimated $69.8 million advertising online. However, while four of the top advertisers in September ranked among the top 20 on the Fortune 500 list, only five of the top 10 companies ranked among the top 50. General Motors Corp., the top-ranked company in America, was No. 10 among Fortune 500 Web advertisers with an estimated $10.4 million spent online.

In contrast, seven of the Fortune Top 10 companies have spent less than $10 million for online advertising, while five of those companies: Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Citigroup and Boeing spent less than $1 million.

“Some of the larger companies haven’t explored the value of on-line advertising. Sears.com was September’s top advertiser on the Web, while Wal-Mart, number two on the Fortune 500 list, spent nothing,” said John Cardona, president of AdZone Interactive. “It’s amazing to see the differences of who is and who isn’t committed to Web advertising.”

Of the 10 largest companies, Wal-Mart was one of two companies not including online advertising in their budget; while on the opposite end of the list, AOL and Barnes and Noble Inc., ranking 337 and 443 on Fortune’s list, spent an estimated $49.7 million and $21.4 million for online advertising.

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