Gartner projects mobile ad spending growth Manufacturers upbeat about revenue growth AOL selects Burnett for rebranding effort Ad spending declines 15.4% in first half Postal Service loses $865 million in July Vance Publishing to add marketing services

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Mobile ad spending will reach $913.5 million this year, up 74% over last year, according to a new report from Gartner. The report, “Mobile Advertising Grows Quietly,” projects that mobile ad spending will reach $13 billion by 2013. The Asia Pacific region is expected to lead worldwide mobile growth, followed by North America and Western Europe. Gartner said mobile ad spending will be driven primarily by mobile Web banner ads, as well as mobile search, downloadable applications and SMS advertising. Location-based targeting is also expected to grow significantly as the technology advances. A recent survey by Prime Advantage found that 80% of manufacturers expect revenue for the second half of the year to either stay the same or increase over the first half. Prime Advantage is a buying consortium of midsize manufacturers. The report was based on an online survey of 96 representatives of industrial manufacturing companies, including business owners, procurement VPs and other purchasing professionals. When a similar study was conducted by Prime Advantage in February, only 38% of manufacturers said they expected revenue to increase or stay the same over 2008. In other survey findings, 31% of manufac-turers said they expect capital spending to decrease from the first half of the year, compared with 66% of respondents who expected capital spending to decrease from 2008 levels in the February survey. Also, 25% of respondents expect revenue to increase up to 10% in the second half, and 12% predict an increase of more than 10% for the remainder of the year. AOL has selected Leo Burnett USA to provide brand strategy for its new brand, which will debut by the end of the year. AOL is currently part of Time Warner, but it will soon be spun off as an independent, publicly traded company. Burnett will provide strategic brand communication consulting services and creative development for the new AOL. Billings were undisclosed. Advertising spending in the U.S. plunged to $56.9 billion in the first half, a decline of 15.4% compared with the same period last year, according to data released by Nielsen Co. Cable TV, which saw a modest increase of 1.5%, was the only medium to show growth in the first half. B-to-b magazine ad spending dropped 31.8%. Also dropping were national newspaper advertising (25.4%) and magazines (21.2%). Mobile phone advertising showed the most robust gains among product categories, with ad spending jumping 104% in the first half. The U.S. Postal Service continues to hemorrhage money, reporting an $865 million loss for July. That was an improvement over the $1.3 billion loss in June, but with two months to go before the Sept. 30 end to its fiscal year, the USPS already has lost $5.6 billion, putting it on track to far surpass its 2009 fiscal year deficit of $2.8 billion. Unaudited financial statements filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission reported that the volume of standard mail was down 16.8% in July year over year, with first-class mail volume off by 10.9%. Vance Publishing Corp. announced that it will officially debut its Vance Marketing Solutions, a digital marketing services business, at three upcoming trade shows. Tom Denison, who previously worked at and iCrossing, will oversee the unit. “We all know that in a recession, companies cut back on their marketing spend. But in this economy, companies also realize that they need to invest in the digital world for the future,” Denison said in a statement. The three trade shows where Vance will be launching the new business are the Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo, Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition and the Western Buying Conference. E-mail marketing company ExactTarget has acquired U.K.-based Keymail Marketing, establishing its first direct overseas presence. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Previously Keymail, based in London, had been a reseller of ExactTarget's technology in the U.K. The acquisition will enable ExactTarget to directly serve its more than 70 European clients. An acquisition price was not revealed. Internet users are turning to search engines in dramatically increasing numbers to find what they want, with more than 113 billion searches conducted worldwide in July, a 41% increase from the same period last year, according to Internet marketing research company comScore. Google maintained its global leadership position, with a 67.5% share of all search queries during July. Yahoo garnered 7.8% of all searches, followed by Chinese search engine Baidu at 7%. Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo's pending search-engine partner, logged 3% of worldwide queries. Dow Jones & Co. is exploring the sale of its stock market indexing business, including the Dow Jones industrial average, The Wall Street Journal reported. Dow Jones & Co., which is owned by News Corp., publishes the Journal. A Dow Jones spokesman declined to comment on the report. The story, which said Goldman Sachs is handling the process, mentioned MSCI Inc. as a potential buyer. Exploring this sale is a sign that News Corp. plans to focus on Dow Jones' core assets, such as the Journal, and is open to divesting assets such as the Ottaway newspapers and Far Eastern Economic Review, sources said. Interactive marketing services company Acxiom Corp. has released Acxiom Relevance-X Social, a tool that allows marketers to engage directly with social media participants and track social marketing effectiveness. The tool sifts a company's customer database to identify influencers and those who frequent social media platforms, then sends offers customized by customer segment. McGraw-Hill Cos. Chairman and President-CEO Terry McGraw said last week in an interview with Bloomberg Television that 93 potential suitors have expressed interest in buying BusinessWeek. McGraw said a variety of companies, including private equity players, hedge funds and strategic buyers, are interested. McGraw-Hill hired Goldman Sachs earlier this summer to explore the potential sale of BusinessWeek, the company's 80-year-old flagship publication. BusinessWeek's ad pages declined 36.8% in the first half compared with the same period last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Between 2000 and 2008, the magazine's ad pages declined about 69%. Incisive Media, publisher of the American Lawyer, National Law Journal and Real Estate Forum, is splitting into two companies, the company announced last week. The split is a result of the company being overleveraged following its $630 million acquisition by Apax Partners, a private equity fund, in 2007. Apax will keep control of what is essentially the American Lawyer Media business in the U.S., which is again being branded as ALM. William Pollak remains CEO of ALM. Online video ad network BrightRoll has unveiled a new behavioral targeting program across its publisher network. The program lets marketers target ads to Internet users based on audience data such as age and other demographics, combined with online behavioral data such as interests and purchase intent. The offering also gives advertisers the ability to match proprietary ad units with engaged viewers online. Cygnus Business Media appears poised to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware last Tuesday approved the business media company's joint prepackaged plan of reorganization. The company, which is now owned by its lenders, primarily GE Commercial and Barclays, will likely emerge from bankruptcy by Sept. 22. Cygnus, whose properties include Firehouse, entered bankruptcy proceedings Aug. 3. Like many b-to-b media companies that rely on advertising dollars, it has been hit hard by the recession.
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