Australian 'net ads set to triple in 1998

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SYDNEY -- Australian Internet advertising is expected to triple to about $8 million this year, with some predicting it will be a $300 million-plus industry by 2002. Current mainstream media advertising is worth $5 billion.

The Australian Internet market is dominated by the two major newspaper publishers, John Fairfax Holdings and NewsCorp, as well as Yellow Pages and Yahoo!, according to Internet analyst www.consult, which predicts the arrival of Doubleclick will spark a shakeup. Doubleclick is now marketing an introductory offer to Australian companies on its Web page.

Ramin Marzbani, principal of www.consult, says that although Internet advertising is rising, only companies with low overheads are making money. He believes this was the problem for Softbank Interactive Marketing, which closed its Australian operations this week.

"This is a very volatile, evolving market," says Dale McCarthy, strategic director of XM/Harrow, an interactive agency. "The industry is still in diapers." She says there is a significant increase in interest in online advertising and predicts an "upheaval" in the next 12 months.

Copyright January 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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