By Laura Rich
According to the latest audit by Coopers & Lybrand, advertising spending on the Internet is on the rise – by a whopping 333.3 percent over the same quarter one year ago.
At the spring conference of the Internet Advertising Bureau, celebrating the organization’s first anniversary, the auditor revealed that publishers earned revenues from advertising of some $129.5 million in the first quarter of this year. Industry consensus before the announcement was that revenues had fallen short of expectations. Indeed, revenues for January and February hovered around November’s level, calling into question the medium’s continued growth. However, March made up for that, pulling in $56.4 million for Web publishers. The IAB commissions Coopers to conduct blind surveys of IAB members’ ad revenue on a quarterly basis.
Rich LeFurgy, senior vp, advertising at ESPN/ABC Internet Ventures and chairman of the IAB, suggested that advertising agencies’ planning schedules had not been in place for the higher spending levels publishers anticipated. ‘(Agencies) had to reestablish their budgets in January,’ he said. ‘Basically, we’re still going hand-to-mouth in terms of budgeting.’
Peter Storck, group director for on-line advertising at Jupiter Communications told IQ News that the Coopers figure was ‘uncannily right on the money’ with Jupiter’s preliminary figure for the first quarter of $133.4 million. For year-end 1996, Coopers reported $267 million, while Jupiter came in at $301 million.
The conference also witnessed a proposal of measurement terms and definitions for the Internet. The proposal intends to clear up discrepancies between commonly used measurement terms, which sometimes have different definitions from one Web publisher to the next. A final version of the voluntary guidelines will be made available to members and posted on the IAB’s Web site (www.iab.net). The IAB said that it is also extending a brand awareness study that was originally conducted by HotWired and WPP Group research firm Millward Brown International last fall.
Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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