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The Market Tumbles but Web Advertising Continues Unabated Growth

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The Market is in shambles. A $700 billion dollar bailout has been approved by the U.S. government.

Last night, both major party presidential candidates agreed that we're facing the single largest financial crisis since the great depression.

People are losing their homes at a rapid rate because of inflated mortgage payments. The unemployment rate is ballooning.

And yet. Internet advertising is up. And it's up quite a bit.

While numbers can be manipulated many ways, we've seen most of the media reporting that we're in, explicably, an Internet advertising boom.

But really, it's not all that inexplicable. Web advertising is measurable. (So is pretty much every other media, but we're really the only ones doing that).

So what does this measurability mean? Simple. People know what they're getting. And while virtually every company needs to market themselves and advertise to their customers, not knowing what is working is making it increasingly difficult to do this in a down market.

Not so with the web. Check out this tidbit from MediaPost:

"Facing a souring economy, U.S. Internet ad revenue grew 15.2% during the first half of 2008 to $11.5 billion compared to the year-earlier period, according to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The second quarter 0f 2008 was up 12.8% from a year ago--but growth was essentially flat from the first to second quarter this year, suggesting that the weakening economy is taking a toll on Internet spending.

Search advertising showed the biggest gains during the first half of 2008, jumping 24% to almost $5.1 billion as marketers increasingly turn to performance-based marketing as an efficient media buy in the midst of growing economic uncertainty. Display advertising, including banners, rich media and digital video, increased 19% to $3.8 billion.

Despite the downturn, "we believe the fundamental for growth in this sector remain strong," said David Silverman, a partner in the entertainment, media and communications practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, during a webinar Tuesday on the IAB report that also included presentations by Nielsen Online and comScore."

Translation: while the economy is still struggling, we have seen our industry stay strong. While you can see above, technically, growth has slowed, we are remaining strong as an industry. And yes, growth has slowed, but not stopped. While many businesses are dying, companies like ours (and many who can't truly compete) are continuing to grow at a rapid rate.

The point of all this? Simple. Now is the time to move your advertising efforts online. Soon, prices will spiral and it will become more difficult to get affordable advertising, even on the web.

In another two years, we're going to be telling a lot of people 'I told you so' in regards to what we're writing right now. We sure hope you're not one of them.

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