Second-quarter online advertising rockets 121% from year ago

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Web advertising is on track to hit $4 billion this year, according to Internet Advertising Bureau data. In data released Nov. 3 at @d:tech in New York, the IAB reported U.S. Web ad revenues in the second quarter rocketed 121% over a year earlier to $934.4 million, with first-half spending jumping 110% to $1.6 billion.

The growth rate in the second quarter picked up, prompting Price Waterhouse Coopers, which compiles the data, to raise its calculation for the '99 Web advertising run rate to about $4 billion from $3 billion. That would put Internet ads at about 2% of the U.S. ad market. Last year, IAB reported, Web ad revenues totaled $1.98 billion.

"The run rate is really picking up," said Tom Hyland, chair of Price Waterhouse Cooper's New Media Group. The top 10 Web publishers commanded 75% of revenues.

Said IAB Chairman Rich LeFurgy: "The big are getting bigger."

Separately, the IAB said it is planning new membership guidelines requiring members to post and adhere to privacy guidelines on their sites.

"We believe that in order for our members to continue to benefit from the expansion of the Internet and successfully build their businesses, they must also protect the privacy of consumers, who are at the center of all Internet companies' business plans,"' Mr. LeFurgy said in a statement. "The protection of individuals' privacy has always been a de facto condition of IAB membership, and now it is official."

In an interview, Mr. LeFurgy said he expects the Federal Trade Commission to demand privacy statements some time next year; IAB is proactively making its move just days before an FTC meeting next week on online privacy. The IAB also issued a call to advertisers and agencies to abandon the use of so-called "trap-door URLs." Also known as "back button disablers," these applications are built into some banners as a tracking mechanisms and prevent the user from using the back button to return to the site, sometimes forcing the user to shut the browser to exit.

In other IAB news at @d:tech, the bureau today named San Francisco shop Lot21 its agency of the year for creativity in online advertising.

The eighth annual @d:tech New York conference ended its three-day run with record attendance of 4,028 people, according to show organizer eMarketWorld.

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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