Internet Marketing Weekly News Update #003 July 8, 2009

With the growing popularity of online coupons come the inevitable scams.
Online coupons are gaining in popularity, as they offer retailers greater marketing precision and consumers more convenience. However, scammers are now using fake online coupons to lure people into providing personal information, so people should verify the source of any coupon, and be leery of giving sensitive information such as credit card or social security numbers.

Amazon drops more affiliates to avoid state sales tax grab.
Amazon has dropped marketing affiliates in Rhode Island to avoid the effect of pending legislation that would incur sales tax on transactions generated via links from affiliates in that state. Rhode Island joins other states such as North Carolina and New York which have passed similar legislation in order to gain an increased share of sales tax from online sales.
The Wall Street Journal

Short-term expectations for Microsoft's Bing "decision engine" may miss long-term potential.
Dismissing Microsoft's Bing "decision engine" because it hasn't immediately challenged the supremacy of Google may be to miss the point. Bing is not simply a "me-too" product, in that it drastically narrows down the results. Whether this proves effective or popular remains to be seen, but it does attempt to address the accumulation of clutter on the Web.

Several prominent brands participate in launch of new Online Publishers Association ad formats.
A number of leading brands, including Bank of America, Frito-Lay, and Mercedes, are experimenting with new online advertising formats promulgated by the Online Publishers Association. The new ads are an example of the growing popularity of behavioral marketing, as they target content-rich sites and are designed to be more interactive.
Yahoo! Finance

The cat-and-mouse game continues as email spam reaches the highest levels in two years.
The percentage of email traffic represented by spam hit 90.4 percent in June, as an increasingly resiliant generation of botnets plus the use of legitimate email accounts is circumventing filtering efforts. The proliferation of spam is not only a nuisance for consumers, but also a challenge for legitimate marketers who must get their messages noticed amid the profusion of spam.
Online Media Daily

StrongMail Systems acquires social media marketer PopularMedia in possible effort to make social marketing more active.
With this move, StrongMail's e-mail marketing customers will have a means of publishing content and tracking interactions via social media web sites. Based on responses, they can develop e-mail lists based on social media pages, allowing for more assertive social marketing techniques than simply posting content and hoping for a response.
Online Media Daily

Craigslist has been sued for copyright infringement due to the content of ads posted on its site.
A Texas real estate company has sued Craigslist over the use of copyrighted terms in the content of ads posted by a competitor Craigslist. The suit claims the terms were used to confuse potential customers. The outcome could not only affect the way online marketers choose key words, but also the degree of liability sites have for content posted on them.
Online Media Daily

As M&A activity in digital slows, time horizons lengthen.
A trend report on merger and acquisitions activity in digital media and marketing shows that deals in the sector fell in both volume and valuation in the second quarter of 2009. A bright spot is that investment capital now is being attracted from value and venture investors with longer time frames, which may be more constructive in the long run.

With venture capital scarce, a new investment model can provide liquidity sooner.
As an alternative to venture capital investments which can lock up investors for a decade, second-stage venture capitalists such as Saints Ventures and W Capital Partners have bought up promising companies such as Facebook, eHarmony, and QuinStreet after their early phases, to bring liquidity to the initial investors and a different type of expertise as these companies move into later stages of development.


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