Mr. Ballmer made his projection to some 500 marketing and Internet advertising executives at the MSN Strategic Account Summit last month. He said as print, radio and TV broadcast content migrate to new formats, interactive marketing, which the Advertising Research Foundation now estimates at a 1% share of all advertising dollars, will receive the sum total by the end of the decade.
But hurdles will have to be overcome in the meantime. Another speaker, Terry Semel, chairman-CEO of Yahoo!, said a "buying and selling change of mentality" will be required for Internet advertising to take off.
MSN is also hoping to overcome issues regarding online advertising effectiveness and measurement with a study it presented by market-research firm Marketing Evolution that introduces a "points" rating system to increase brand awareness and sales.
Greg Stuart, president-CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, said he's 85% certain issues related to measurement of online-advertising effectiveness will be resolved in the next 12 months. After that, he said, the biggest hurdle will be garnering interest in developing online ads from agency creatives. "I don't think we've it made sexy."