Survey: Some Advertisers Actually Cut Web Outlays in ’98

A new study by the Association of National Advertisers said that the percentage of companies surveyed that advertise online slipped from 68 percent in 1997 to 61 percent in 1998.

But the Web presence of traditional companies increased to 99 percent of those surveyed, up from 90 percent in 1997.

Robin Webster, senior vice president of ANA and the study’s author, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the results signify a stronger commitment to the Internet by traditional advertisers as they focused on strategically developing a solid corporate Web site in 1998 rather than just experimenting with the Internet as in previous years.

Even so, a recent Internet Advertising Bureau report said that Internet ad spending in 1998 climbed to nearly $2 billion, increasing for the 12th consecutive quarter.

Although many advertisers decreased their online ad spending in 1998 and a few dropped out completely, Webster said the majority of advertisers expect to spend more money this year.

Eighty-six percent of survey respondents said they plan to spend more money in 1999, and 49 percent of those who have not yet invested in the Internet said they plan to advertise online within the next 12 months.

The ANA study results were compiled in February from 121 members of the organization. Webster predicted that online spending by traditional advertisers would increase significantly in 1999, but noted that they are spending an average of only 1 percent of their overall ad budgets on Web advertising.

Sixty-eight percent of survey respondents complained about the Internet’s inability to sufficiently prove return on investment, and 58 percent complained about the lack in reliable measurement information, according to the survey results.

Survey respondents said they paid an average of $25 CPM for online advertising campaigns.

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