Display ads still engaging, study says

Yahoo and Google’s new advertising moves — [which we reported about today](/ec-news/article.php/3826331/Yahoo+Google+Rev+Up+New+Ad+Products.htm) — come as online display advertising is suffering due to declining demand as more marketers turn to performance-based advertising, or those in which advertisers only pay for measurable results, as budgets get squeezed due to the recession.

Still, a new [comScore-Online Publishers Association study ](http://www.online-publishers.org/newsletter.php?newsId=531&newsType)out this week says display ads still work in terms of consumer engagement and online shopping. For instance, the report says one in five consumers who view display ads searched on the advertised brand, and one-third visited the advertiser’s site.

Furthermore, the OPA report said online shoppers exposed to display ads spent over 50 percent more time than the average visitors had at these sites and viewed more pages. It also says users spent 10 percent more money online overall, and more on product categories related to the advertised brands.

“In order to understand the value of the audiences that display advertising attracts, our study helps marketers think about real behavioral measures designed to move the needle,” OPA President Pam Horan said in a statement.

The OPA study echoes a separate comScore report that reached similar conclusions — that click-throughs alone are inadequate to evaluate display ad performance.

As search companies continue to roll out new ad platforms, the online advertising industry is also seeing a [resurgence in ad networks](/ec-news/article.php/3821651/Growing+Ad+Networks+Shaking+Up+Online+Ad+Spend.htm), which offer an affordable and targeted alternative to other types of paid promotions.

The networks are generally comprised of lots of smaller, lesser-known sites and, as a result, advertisers can reach audiences as big as those at the super-sized Web sites, but at a fraction of the cost. As a result, the ad networks are grabbing more online ad dollars — and according to comScore, growing by double-digit percentages.

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