Commentary

Just An Online Minute...Spending More Online

Nielsen//NetRatings reports that business & consumer services, autos, pharmaceuticals, travel/hotels/resorts and insurance & real estate led all industries in positive online ad spending growth on a year-over-year basis. For the first time the biggest spending advertisers are moving more dollars to online advertising.

Business and consumer services, which includes large ad spenders such as financial services and telecommunications, led all industry segments with an increase of $100 million from the first quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of 2003. The $100 million represents 58 percent of the $172 million total increase in online ad spending during the same period, as reported by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The auto sector increased online ad spending by $30 million, from $27 million in Q1 of 2002 to $57 million in Q1 of 2003, an increase of 90.5%. Following closely was the drug/remedies category, which increased online ad spending by $26 million during the same year over year period. Rounding out the top five, travel, hotel & resorts reported positive growth of 15.5%, an increase of $15 million and the insurance & real estate sector moved up 29% by $10 million.

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"The lion's share of this growth is now coming from industries known to spend significantly on traditional advertising," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president, client analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Selected Fortune 500 companies classically labeled as traditional advertisers, like auto manufacturers, are more fully adopting online media into their plans."

Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance research shows that other large advertisers like consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are increasing their share of online advertising impressions. The CPG companies in this study, Pepsico, Anheuser-Busch, South African Brewers, Altria and Coca Cola have used their traditional advertising savvy on the Web, turning to sports sites, among others, to reach online consumers.

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