September Online Ad Sales the Highest in Five Months

Total online ad spending reached $696.2 million for the month of September, reaching its highest level since April, with technology and finance the two leading spending categories, according to a report by AdZone Research.

Based on its monthly reports for the year, AdZone measures the total online expenditures for the first three quarters of 2004 at $6.25 billion. That total is almost 12 percent higher than the figures for the same time period put out by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR earlier this week.

“We monitor over 1700 Web sites 24/7, reporting on the hits and the ads that are grabbed on all of them,” said Brian Mayhew, commercial products manager for AdZone. “Overall, it seems that, besides January, online advertising expenditures have been pretty steady and on the rise.”

The company’s Internet Advertising Report found that Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM were consistently the top advertisers in the technology category, which totaled $181.4 million for the month.

That figure is more than double the $89.7 million total for the number two finance category. Leaders in the finance category included discount brokers Ameritrade and Scottrade, and insurance company Allstate.

However, that ratio of technology versus finance expenditures has fluctuated somewhat throughout the year. In August, finance held the lead position with $138.9 million, with technology not far behind at $121.8 million.

Other leading online advertisers for the month of September included the wireless divisions of telecom companies, including AT&T Wireless, Verizon Wireless, Cingular, and BellSouth, the report found.

Monthly online advertising expenditures have been lower than the $826.1 million high in January, but since then have consistently registered levels of more than $650 million per month. That consistency appears to substantiate other recently released metrics indicating stabilization in the online advertising sector. The one exception was the month of August, in which the total was $611.1 million.

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