Ad:Tech kicks off with more attendees, positive news

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New York—Ad:Tech New York kicked off Monday with 7,000 preregistered attendees, up from 5,000 last year.

"We’re back," said Geoff Ramsey, CEO and co-founder of eMarketer, summing up online advertising in a "State of the Industry" session. "Does this not feel like 2000? But my legs feel a bit firmer on the ground."

Online ad spending grew 39.7% in the first half of this year compared with last, according to eMarketer. Ramsey attributed the increase to factors including the growth in broadband, a greater focus on measurement and ROI, and the fact that online shopping is now a mainstream activity.

Search engine marketing was a hot topic at the conference. Among the announcements made, search engine marketing company IMPAQT said it has expanded its services. The company, which previously offered services such as search campaign management and keyword analytics, has added several capabilities, including local search, behavioral targeting, campaign consulting, proprietary research and custom application development.

Search Engine Optimization Inc. unveiled a Web browser tool bar that gives users access to search results from all the major search engines. The company also announced a new Web site development division called, which will design Web sites to rank high in search engine results.

In other news at the conference, DigitalGrit, a Web marketing and technology company, introduced a service to help businesses sell more effectively on eBay. Called FeedBlaster Technology, the service enables business owners to upload catalog items on eBay using an XML feed. Crystal Semantics launched Textonomy Advance, a contextual advertising tool that analyzes Web pages’ text to serve the most relevant ads.

At the eighth annual Ad:Tech Awards, Tribal DB Canada won in the best b-to-b Web site category for its OgilvyInteractive New York won the best b-to-b campaign award for its IBM On Demand campaign.

Ad:Tech runs through Wednesday at the Hilton New York.

—Mary E. Morrison

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