Web Ads Get Mainstream Spike

With the dot-com meltdown, mainstream advertisers are picking up the
online-advertising slack.

According to Nielsen Media Research/NetRatings, traditional advertisers spent
$123 million on online advertising in March, compared with $105 million from
'digital-economy' advertisers like Yahoo!
Inc., Amazon.com
(opens in new tab)Inc. and eBay (opens in new tab) Inc. and $51 million from
high-tech firms like Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp.

'For the first time, we see a changing of the guard in the world of online
advertising,' NetRatings vice president of analytical services Allen Weiner said
in a prepared statement. 'Recent online-campaign announcements from [PepsiCo
Inc.'s] Pepsi, [The Coca-Cola Co.'s] Diet Coke and Ford [Motor Co.] suggest
renewed interest in the medium by traditional advertisers and agencies.'

Microsoft had 1.2 billion impressions, tops among all companies, the report
said, followed by Equifax Inc. at 636 million and Yahoo! at 554 million.

Nielsen/NetRatings also found that digital-economy ads had the poorest
click-through rates of the three categories. High-tech companies enjoyed a 0.3
percent click-through rate, compared with 0.22 percent for traditional companies
and 0.16 percent for digital-economy companies.

'Through a low-reach, high-frequency model, dot-com advertisers have numbed
Web surfers by exposing them to the same ads over and over again,' Weiner said.
'This contributes to low click rates and ineffective