Internet Advertising Stages a Comeback

Online advertising, with the help of traditional brick-and-mortar companies, is staging a comeback -- emerging from the prolonged dry spell that followed the dot-com bust, industry watchers say. Traditional advertisers, such as automakers, are beginning to allocate more of their marketing budgets to the Web, helping the online ad industry take its first steps toward what analysts see as a sustainable recovery.

"It took a long time to shake out the fluff and refocus back on significant advertisers," said Jupiter Research analyst Gary Stein. While online advertising had been known as the place for loud pitches and flashing banner ads by dot-coms -- many of which have folded -- traditional companies have recently been drawn in by more subtle approaches, such as paid search listings and savvy animated "rich media" ads.

"We are definitely looking to change the way we allocate media, giving Internet a share that is proportionate to the way we think we can get the best ROI (return on investment) from our media allocation," said Marc Fireman, global director of interactive marketing at Reebok. US Bancorp Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rastchy said in a recent research note he expects this year's growth in online advertising to well exceed the 15 percent range, up from prior estimates of under 10 percent.

News source: Reuters

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