Internet Advertising Numbers Not Promising

A couple of weeks ago we reported grim numbers for newspaper advertising revenues for the first quarter of the year. And guess what? Web sites aren’t having it any easier.

According to the Internet Advertising Revenue Report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Internet advertising dropped 5 percent to $5.5 billion during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter last year. This hints at the fact that — as many have predicted — advertising simply cannot sustain newspapers and magazines, even if they go digital only.

But although the online ad revenue drop is unfortunate, its nothing compared to total ad revenues for U.S. papers in particular, which shrunk 28.3 percent during the first quarter of the year, down to $6.6 billion from $9.2 billion during the same period last year. Newspapers’ online advertising revenue was also down.

On the other hand, All Things Digital’s Peter Kafka reported that big congloms Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have beefed up their online ad buys during the first three months of the year — they are now spending 4 percent of their ad budget on banner ads. The question then becomes, are P&G and J&G seeing a return on their investment? If so, maybe other corporations will get in the Internet ad spending spirit. Let’s turn this recession around!

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