Online Ads On the Rise

By: Scott Van Camp

(Adweek Magazines’ Technology Marketing) Updated at 11:45 a.m. EST, May 21

In a sign that online advertising may be in a recovery phase, the number of unique online ads jumped 33% from January to April of this year, says a study released earlier this week by Nielsen NetRatings.

“The burst of online ads over the last three months indicates that the online ad market is finding some new traction,” said Charles Buchwalter, NetRating’s vice president of media research.

The research shows that the number of unique ads hit a high point in March 2001, and then steadily declined to reach a low in January 2002. Since then, the number of unique ads have shown an upward trend.

Nielsen NetRatings also tracks the top 10 advertisers by percentage growth in unique ads. The list, topped by Columbia House (89% growth from January 2002 to April 2002), includes a number of traditional advertisers. Nestle USA was second on the list with 67% growth, and the U.S. Federal Government was tied for third with USA Networks with 60%. Rounding out the top 10 was Microsoft, Oracle, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, Citigroup, and General Motors.

“Two years after the dot-com bubble burst in mid-2000, blue-chip companies’ adoption of the online medium appears to be accelerating,” said Buchwalter. “Over the next 12 months, the significance of this development will be underscored if these increases in unique ads translate into sustained increases in online ad expenditures.”

(Editor’s Note: Nielsen NetRatings is a joint venture between NetRatings, Nielsen Media Research, and ACNielsen. Nielsen Media Research and ACNielsen Corp. share the same owner — VNU — as E&P.)

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