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Gone are the days when the Internet was a last-minute tactical buy or bargain-basement add-on to an offline package. Online planning cycles are lengthening, and advertisers are reserving popular inventory—such as portal home pages, section fronts and broadband video—three, six, even 12 months in advance.

“Supply and demand is forcing us to [have] longer planning cycles and longer lead times for a campaign now because of inventory shortages or marquee placements like online video,” said Jay Krihak, group media director at WPP Group’s The Digital Edge in New York.

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