Study: More Fortune 100 Companies Advertise Online

More of the country’s biggest companies are advertising online — but their media buys aren’t keeping pace with the rest of the market, according to Jupiter Media Metrix.

According to a new study by the New York-based research firm, 81 of the current Fortune 100 companies are advertising online this year — up 21 percent from 2000.

But research shows that while the overall number of big-name advertisers has increased, they aren’t increasing their online buys at the same rate as the market average. According to data from Jupiter’s AdRelevance unit, Fortune 100 companies increased the number of impressions in their buys by 14 percent — while the market as a whole increased its buy by 54 percent.

That’s discouraging news — coming as it does amid a major slowdown in the publishing and advertising industries that’s offering some of the best pricing ever on Web inventory.

“The good news is that more and more of the world’s largest companies are advertising online,” said Marc Ryan, director of media research for Jupiter Media Metrix. “Impressions purchased by Fortune 100 companies comprise eight percent of the total market … However, marketers might be a little disappointed that these large companies are not yet significantly increasing the volume of impressions they buy.”

Financial services and technology companies continue to be among the highest spenders during 2001. Citigroup and J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. bought the most impressions thus far into the year — 2.2 billion and 1.8 billion, respectively. Dell (1.7 billion impressions) and AT&T (1.3 billion) followed, with retail giant Wal-Mart rounding out the top five with 1.2 billion impressions.

The study also suggests that if AOL-Time Warner were to be included among this year’s Fortune 100 advertisers (the two media giants’ merger missed the cut-off for the list — but are likely to make it onto next year’s), the company would probably have little impact on the numbers, since it would seldom buy outside of its own Web sites.

Taking that into consideration, the study suggests that AOL’s contribution to Fortune 100 online media buying would have added about 5 percent more during 2001.

Yahoo received the highest percentage of Fortune 100 companies’ ads, with 14 percent of their total buy, or 3.6 billion. MSN saw 9 percent of their business, or 2.3 billion, followed by Excite@Home (1.6 billion, or 6 percent). iWon and Netscape.com both saw 5 percent of Fortune 100 companies’ impressions, at 1.3 billion and 1.2 billion impressions, respectively.

While they’re proving slower to seize upon the industry’s rock-bottom prices, Fortune 100 marketers are also divided in the ways in which they used their dough. According to AdRelevance data, all but 6.3 million of Dell’s online ads were corporate brand ads. Compaq, meanwhile, spread its 1 billion impressions across 16 different product lines.

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