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Online ad spending rises 33% in 2004

Online ad revenue totaled $9.6 billion last year, up 33% over 2003, according to the final Ad Revenue Report for 2004, released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Consumer advertising led online advertising in 2004, making up 49% of all online ads, followed by ads for computers (18%), financial services (17%), pharmaceuticals and health care (6%) and telecommunications (4%). The most widely used pricing model in 2004 was cost-per-impression (42%), followed closely by performance-based pricing (41%) and hybrid pricing (17%). PricewaterhouseCoopers prepared the report.

Pitney Bowes buys assets from Fala

Pitney Bowes has acquired selected mail stream and presort assets of Fala Sorting Services, a subsidiary of Fala Direct Marketing. Fala Direct Marketing and Pitney have signed a long-term marketing agreement to provide Fala's customers with access to presort and international mail services through Pitney Bowes' Mail Services national network.

Dow Jones sites add behavioral targeting

Dow Jones & Co. launched interest-based behavioral targeting across its network of sites, including The Wall Street Journal Online, Barron's Online and MarketWatch. The advertising service, powered by Revenue Science, allows advertisers to target messages based on user interests. Dow Jones also announced that Oracle is the first advertiser to use interest-based targeting across the network to reach C-level executives. Oracle's advertising campaign is designed to position the company as a thought leader in business integration and intelligence. The interest-based ads are targeted at subscribers who are defined as "technology enthusiasts"-those who visit technology sections or read stories about technology across Dow Jones' online properties.

Hellman & Friedman to acquire DoubleClick

DoubleClick announced April 25 that it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm, for $1.1 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter. The ad management and data services provider went on the block in October.

BMA creates marketing assessment program

The Business Marketing Association announced the launch of an online marketing assessment program for b-to-b companies. The program, called Marketing Skills Assessment/ Building/Certification (MSA/B/C) was developed in response to the growing demand by senior managers to hold marketers accountable for producing measurable marketing results, said Rick Kean, executive director of the BMA. The online program helps companies assess, train for and certify the practical skills and knowledge required for marketing and product managers in trade, industrial and high-technology markets.

Zenith upgrades global ad spending forecast

Zenith Optimedia upgraded its 2005 global ad spending growth forecast to 5.4%, from its December forecast of 5.0%. Spending in b-to-b magazines, however, is expected to grow only 2% this year. B-to-b magazine expenditures rose just 1.0% in 2004. "The outlook for 2005 is only modestly brighter," according to the report.

BZ Media buys Eclipse properties from Penton

BZ Media, publisher of SD Times and producer of the Eclipse World Conference & Exhibition, announced it has acquired Eclipse-focused properties from Penton Media. BZ Media bought three properties aimed at the open source software developer communities: e-mail newsletter "EclipseSource" and the Web sites and Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cenveo hires Rothschild to explore possible sale

Cenveo, a direct marketing services provider, has retained investment bank Rothschild Inc. to help evaluate strategic alternatives, including a possible sale. The board of Cenveo, which changed its name from Mail-Well in April 2004, has adopted a shareholder rights plan and declared a dividend distribution of one preferred share purchase right on each outstanding share of common stock.

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