Online Ad Clutter

  • by February 28, 2001
Jupiter Media Metrix today reports that online ads reached a record level of over 172 billion impressions during the fourth quarter of 2000 while top Web media companies stocked 28% of their sites with non-paid self-promotional ads.

According to AdRelevance data released today at the Jupiter Media Forum, entertainment and society websites ran the highest percentage of self-promotional ads (30%) among ad supported websites. Jupiter analysts assert, however, that sites using too many house ads dilute their advertisers' messages, at a time when they badly need to be proving a return on investment (ROI) to those advertisers.

Jupiter analysts project that consumers will face an average of 950 marketing messages per usage day by 2005. The cluttering of messages can affect the performance of ads and will hurt Web publishers as pay-per-performance pricing increases, say Jupiter analysts.

Twenty-two percent of ads on news and information Websites during the fourth quarter of 2000 were house ads, compared with 19% on portals and search engines, according to AdRelevance data. Only portals did not experience an increase from the third quarter.

AdRelevance data show that house advertising levels inched upward all year, hovering around 15% early in the year and rising to 28% by the end of the year. According to Jupiter analysts, that increase can be partially attributed to a growing Web audience that create a need for media companies to fill gaps on Web pages.

"Market negativity has increased the need for advertisers to realize greater ROI from their online campaigns. The cluttering of marketing messages on Websites has inhibited performance for online advertising and placed publishers in peril," said Mike May, research director and senior analyst for Jupiter Media Metrix.

"House ads can serve a legitimate purpose for media companies, but they need to limit those that are used as mere placeholders and instead focus on demonstrating the value of the medium to their clients, and the industry at large. To reduce clutter, Web publishers should use house ads more strategically, freeing up opportunities for their clients to shine."

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