Year-over-year online ad spending drops in second quarter of 2009.
According to a report by IDC, online ad spending dropped by 5.9% in the second quarter of 2009, compared with the same quarter in 2008. The US suffered a slightly higher decline in ad spending, with a year-over-year drop of 7%. Search ads were least affected by the decline, as a result of which Google was the only publisher in the US to post an increase in ad spending.
Access of Internet via mobile phones rises, especially among minorities.
A recent study shows that usage of mobile phones to access the Internet has risen from 24% of all US consumers aged 18 and over in 2007, to 32% this year. Use of mobile devices to access the Internet is particularly prevalent among black and Hispanic consumers, with nearly half of those populations having accessed the Internet that way at least once.
The FDA cracks down on search advertising for pharmaceuticals.
The FDA has been stepping up enforcement of advertising disclosure rules for pharmaceutical products by applying existing disclosure requirements to search ads. Because of space limitations, pharmaceutical companies had typically provided disclosure via an additional click withing the ad, but the FDA has advised them that this is not adequate.
News Corp attempts to have it both ways, with ads and subscriptions.
As news organizations struggle to find profitable online business models, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is attempting to cultivate two types of revenue streams for its publications. In addition to selling advertising, online editions of all News Corp publications will be available only on a paid subscription basis. There is concern that the resulting drop in readership will hurt ad revenues.
As Internet usage at work soars, questions about productivity remain.
Two recent surveys estimated the number of people using the Internet at work as exceeding 65 million. Employers have concerns that this usage isn't all work-related and can be a drag on productivity, but the counter-argument is that the Internet allows people to get work done from home during off hours. 71% of Internet users said that it had improved their productivity either "a lot" or "somewhat."
Social marketing services vendor seeks to make social marketing more manageable.
A social media services provider named Vitrue has rolled out a suite of products designed to make it easier for companies to manage their social media presence. Vitrue's new tools includes a Social Publisher designed specifically for "wall posts" on Facebook, a Social Planner calendar function, and a Social Insights suite designed to provide analytics.
Online giants team up to investigate recent cyber attacks on popular sites.
They may be rivals, but Google, Twitter, and Facebook are cooperating on an investigation of the hacker attacks that shut down Twitter for several hours last week, and slowed the operation of other popular sites. There has been speculation that the attacks may have originated within Russia for political reasons.
Mobile coupons hit consumers where they shop.
A mobile coupon system went live in a number of grocery chains last week. Rather than having to deal with paper coupons, customers can now click on ad-linked coupons on their mobile devices, and simply swipe their loyalty cards at the register of participating chains to receive the savings. This provides more convenience for consumers, while marketers get more precise information about the buying habits of those consumers.
New iPhone platform lets consumers shop on the way to the store.
NearbyNow has launched a new iPhone shopping platform that lets consumers identify nearby locations where they can find a featured product, and reserve that product till they can go and pick it up. Early participants include Runners World and Seventeen magazines, as publications look to offer advertisers more tangible results.