Beyond Interactive Axes 63

Online ad agency Beyond Interactive confirmed reports Friday morning that
it has laid off 63 of its employees, amid a rough season for Internet
advertising and marketing companies.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based firm, which is owned by Grey Advertising,
disclosed few details about the layoffs, which occurred in New York, Ann
Arbor and San Francisco offices. Most of the layoffs reportedly involved junior-level account people.

The news comes just after Alley-based ad server, rep and technology firm
DoubleClick announced its first profitable quarter — heralded by some as a
reversal in online advertising’s fortunes.

The industry has been plagued by questions about the value of
impression-based banner advertising, and has been hammered in the public
markets as hurting dot-com advertisers cut marketing budgets. This occurs
on top of a historically soft quarter for ad spending.

But ad giant DoubleClick appears the exception to the rule, as Beyond
joins several dot-com marketing companies in announcing bad news.

Already, October has seen layoffs from PopMail.com, Promotions.com, and
TMP Worldwide’s In2 online marketing unit, which will be folded back into
its parent. Ad-sponsored ISP FreeInternet and ad-sponsored Web surfing
company mValue shut down operations as well.

Like DoubleClick, many online ad players are making efforts to attract
more stable, well-funded traditional advertisers.

However, Beyond counts several dot-coms on its client roster, including
PlanetRx, ClassMates.com and IPO.com. It is not known what percentage of
revenue comes from dot-com advertisers.

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