Four marketing and advertising industry associations announced last week that they are working to develop enhanced self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising in order to address consumer privacy concerns. The American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, Direct Marketing Association and Interactive Advertising Bureau said they are discussing the areas for self-regulation set forth in the Federal Trade Commission's proposed self-regulatory principles issued in December 2007, including education and transparency; consumer notification and choice; data security; and self-regulatory enforcement. The announcement of the joint effort took place on the same day that two consumer advocacy groups, the Center for Digital Democracy and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, asked the FTC to investigate behavioral targeting practices aimed at users of mobile phones and requested regulations to make it easier for mobile phone users to control how information about them is used.
Magazine ad pages fell 11.7% last year to 220,813, according to the latest Publishers Information Bureau data, compiled by the Magazine Publishers of America. The decline accelerated in the fourth quarter as 60,814.5 advertising pages represented a plunge of 17.1% from the fourth quarter of 2007. Some key business publications showed ad page declines for the year, including Barron's (-6.7%), Forbes (-14.3%) and BusinessWeek (-16.1%). Ad-page gainers included Fast Company (23.9%), The Economist (4.4%) and Fortune (0.1%).
Microsoft Corp. this month rolled out new ads in its “People Ready Business” campaign, featuring senior executives at leading North American companies. The theme of the campaign, created by JWT New York, is “It's everybody's business”; the effort includes TV, print and online. The ads feature executives such as Katie Bayne, CMO of Coca-Cola Co., and Robert McKnight, CEO of Quiksilver, discussing how they are using technology to solve business problems. The budget was undisclosed. Microsoft also announced a national sponsorship of PBS, partially under-writing the network's “Nightly Business Report.”
Even though search marketing growth is slowing, marketers will rely more on search this year as they seek greater return on investment in a weakened economy, according to a report from eMarketer. EMarketer predicts that U.S. search ad spending will grow 14.9% this year, compared with 21.4% in 2008 and 29.5% in 2007. Even though search marketing growth is slowing, search advertising will dominate online marketing budgets, more than doubling the money that will be spent on display ads through 2013, the company predicted. However, eMarketer warned that reducing display ad expenditures could affect search results, since display ads support searches and click-throughs.
The Direct Marketing Association has canceled its 2009 B-to-B Lead Generation Conference, which had been scheduled for April 6-8 in New Orleans. The annual spring conference, formerly known as DMB (for direct marketing to business), has been held for many years. In a statement, the association said, “DMA will be enhancing our B2B offerings at our Tier One events. DMA is focused on providing value to members, especially during this economic climate. With travel budgets down and resources stretched across most companies, DMA's intent is to postpone the B2B Lead Generation Conference until 2010.”
The Interactive Advertising Bureau has released “Lead Quality Accountability Best Practices,” designed to improve communications between agencies and publishers in the lead-generation industry. The document addresses two main areas: best practices for advertiser sharing of invalid leads with publishers to improve the process of accounting for leads, and communication methodology for advertiser sharing of converted leads with publishers to improve advertiser conversions and ROI. The best practices are available at www.iab.net/ leadquality.
The combined value of media deals totaled $2.0 billion in 2008, the lowest figure of the young century, according to a new M&A report released by media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips. The combined deal value declined 79% from 2007, and the number of deals fell from 135 to 109, a drop of 19%. Last year, which was defined by the credit crunch that moved strategic buyers ahead of financial buyers for the first time since 2001, was most notable for the deals that didn't get done—those for Informa, Reed Business Information and Cygnus Business Media.
Small businesses slow
to embrace search
Nearly six in 10 small businesses that have Web sites don't currently use paid search marketing, and of those, 90% have never even attempted it, according to an analysis by Microsoft adCenter, the advertising research division of Microsoft Corp. Reasons vary, according to the organization. Eighty-nine percent of respondents cited a fear that paid keywords would become too expensive; 81% said they weren't sure paid search marketing was the best use of their marketing budgets; and more than one-third said they thought they would need an agency to set up a search marketing campaign. One-quarter said they believe search marketing is too complex, and 21% said it is too time consuming. The online study of 400 small-business owners was conducted by Kelton Research.
Outsell sees continued growth
in media and information sector
Information industry analyst firm Outsell predicts 3% growth for the information and publishing industries next year. The firm said in its report, “Information Industry Outlook 2009: No Guts No Glory,” that the sector will total $400 billion in 2008 and $412 billion in 2009. “The information industry grows fairly consistently, behaving like a portfolio of securities because it is made up of 12 segments that all behave differently,” Anthea Stratigos, Outsell's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “Some are feeling pain from the economy, doubly so if they are operating with obsolete business or delivery models. Other information providers, such as those specializing in market research, health care or compliance, are somewhat recession proof or behave counter-cyclically in downturns.”
TNS Compete launches
online measurement service
TNS Compete, a business unit of TNS Media, announced the launch of Compete PRO Enterprise, a new online measurement service for large marketing organizations and agencies. Compete PRO Enterprise provides comprehensive Web site data, search term analysis and user information to marketers and agencies. The service also provides on-demand analytics reports across the enterprise.
Mobile Marketing Association
names Wehrs president-CEO
The Mobile Marketing Association's board has named Mike Wehrs president-CEO. Wehrs was previously VP-industry affairs and evangelism at Nuance Communications. The MMA said that in his new position, Wehrs “will continue to promote its charter to build a sustainable ecosystem for the mobile marketing industry globally” and help establish guidelines and best practices for mobile marketing.