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Published on .

(April 19, 2001) -- Spending for online advertising has slowed sharply since the beginning of the year, but it is still stronger than this time last year, according to advertising research firm AdZone Market Research, Riverhead, N.Y.

Spending dropped 26% during the quarter, from $1.8 billion in January to $1.47 billion in March, but quarterly spending is still 90.2% higher than last year, according to AdZone's totals for 2,500 U.S. Web sites, which make up more than 95% of all U.S. Internet advertising revenue.

The study concludes the Internet is still a viable marketing medium in this economy and should rebound in the second and third quarters.

Amazon.com was the No. 1 advertised brand online in March, with $30.8 in spending. AOL.com, Yahoo.com and ESPN.GO.com ranked as the top three sites by revenue. They took in an estimated $45.8 million, $43.3 million and $31.6 million, respectively. -- Mercedes Cardona

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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