SOURCE: The Nielsen Company

September 18, 2008 10:00 ET

Significant Drop in Financial Services Ad Spending Drives Six Percent Overall Decline in Image-Based Online Advertising, According to Nielsen Online

Entertainment, Automotive and Consumer Goods Advertising Show Healthy Growth

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 18, 2008) - Nielsen Online, a service of the Nielsen Company, today reported that a 27 percent decline in image-based online ad spending by Financial Services companies drove a six percent year-over-year decrease in overall image-based online advertising in the first half of 2008; the number of image-based impressions decreased by nine percent during the same period.

The Financial Services industry -- consistently among the top online advertiser segments -- showed estimated spending of $1.1 billion during the first two quarters compared to $1.5 billion during the same period in 2007 (see Table 1). Although historically a smaller advertising segment, the Public Services industry also contributed to the decrease, declining by 38 percent. A number of industries showed strong growth in online advertising, including the Entertainment industry, with spending increasing 47 percent year-over-year; the Automotive industry, with 45 percent growth; and Consumer Goods advertisers, up 32 percent compared to the same period in 2007. Spending on rich media advertising increased by 60 percent in the first half of 2008, indicating a growing adoption of these technologies in online advertising campaigns.

When including paid search figures as publicly reported by the major search providers, along with the projected growth of online video advertising, Nielsen estimated that overall online ad spending increased approximately 11 percent during the first half of 2008.

"The early 2008 decline in image-based online ad spend reflects the macro movements in the overall economy, particularly within the financial services industry," said Jon Gibs, vice president, media analytics, Nielsen Online. "The good news is that we saw large gains from brand advertisers including Anheuser-Busch, Unilever, Toyota and General Motors, among others, which bodes well for the future. Companies are recognizing the Web's potential to play a leading role in their broader branding efforts. Moreover, when we consider published growth figures for online video and paid search advertising, we believe overall online ad spending was up in the low double-digit range. The shift we're seeing from display ads to rich media and text formats opens up even more creative possibilities for advertisers and should drive continued growth in the online advertising sector."

Table 1: Top 10 Industries Ranked by Online Image-Based Advertising
Estimated Spending for January -- June 2008 (U.S.)

                    Estimated Spend     Estimated Spend
Industry                Q2 2007             Q2 2008           % Change
------------------  ---------------     ---------------       --------
Financial Services  $ 1,513,499,500     $ 1,107,215,800       -27%
Web Media           $   903,731,700     $   895,871,500       -1%
Retail Goods &
 Services           $   657,760,600     $   611,790,900       -7%
Telecommunications  $   541,705,300     $   512,837,800       -5%
Automotive          $   208,170,300     $   301,249,900        45%
Consumer Goods      $   221,238,600     $   292,940,800        32%
Entertainment       $   140,266,100     $   206,145,600        47%
Travel              $   201,209,900     $   202,603,900        1%
Public Services     $   303,526,000     $   189,192,800       -38%
Hardware &
 Electronics        $   123,106,500     $   146,290,800        19%

Source: Nielsen Online, AdRelevance

About Nielsen Online:

Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers comprehensive, independent measurement and analysis of online audiences, advertising, video, consumer-generated media, word of mouth, commerce and consumer behavior, and includes products previously marketed under the Nielsen//NetRatings and Nielsen BuzzMetrics brands. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen Online enables clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet, digital and marketing strategies. For more information, please visit

About The Nielsen Company:

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit,

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