An Internet Advertising Reality Check

Impressed by all the hype about the growth of Internet ad spending? Here’s a
little reality check.

The absolute dollar figures spent online in 1998 pale in comparison to the
billions spent in traditional advertising venues, according to a report by eMarketer.

The eAdvertising Report indicates that television ($48 billion), newspapers
($45 billion), and direct mail ($39 billion), which ranked one-two-three in
advertising dollars spent during 1998, dwarfed the $1.5 billion distributed
on the Web during that same period.

The report also states that television, newspapers and direct mail will
continue to dominate throughout 2002, at $62 billion, $58 billion and $44
billion projected levels, respectively.

The company said its report “offers solid evidence” that ad spending on the
Internet, though on the rise, has a long way to go before it diverts serious
dollars away from television, magazines, newspapers and other traditional
media.

“For 1999, the eAdvertising Report forecasts Web ad spending of $2.6 billion,
which still represents a small fraction of total spending, estimated at $217
billion,” said Geoffrey Ramsey, statsmaster at eMarketer. “Even non-network
cable advertising, which totaled $2.4 billion, edged out the Web in ad
dollars spent during 1998.”

The recent 1998 Internet ad report by the Internet Advertising Bureau pegged
1998 spending at nearly $2 billion, edging out the outdoor category, however.

The eAdvertising Report, published by eMarketer and presented by Advertising Age, contains statistical
information aggregated from a range of research sources. The report is
available for $795.

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