WSJ Digital Says Tech Ad Drop a Blip

During Dow Jones’s recent Q2 earnings call, CFO Bill Plummer said online ad revenues slowed during the quarter to 3 percent growth, noting the drop was “almost exclusively attributable to significant decline in technology advertising, which represents about 22 percent of our online advertising base.” He continued, “We believe this is more an anomaly than a trend. In fact, we already see examples of accounts that were part of the decline in the second quarter, having scheduled ads for the third quarter. And while not all have yet rescheduled ads, we see enough to continue to expect that our online tech advertising to recover in the third and fourth quarter. (See SeekingAlpha for the full
transcript
).

I spoke with Brian Quinn, VP of sales and marketing for Wall Street Journal Digital today about the tech ad decline. He affirmed Plummer’s statement, noting, “I don’t think it’s a trend.” Indeed, he said, advertisers that ran campaigns the same quarter last year, including Cisco and Dell, didn’t this Q2.

But Dell and Sprint (telecoms dropped in Q2 2007 compared to ’06, too) are running campaigns now.

Quinn also alluded to recent strange fluctuations in ad spending that haven’t jibed with traditional seasonality. For instance, he said, while June was slower than normal, January and July saw more spending on the publisher’s sites.

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