Bright side of slow online ad growth


wallstreet.jpgADOTAS — The Interactive Advertising Bureau release of its online advertising spending numbers for 2008 showed that the Internet was swallowed up in the economy maelstrom.

Advertising growth was cut in half last year. US online advertising grew only 11 percent in 2008 to $23.4 billion, the slowest rate since 2002. And despite some positive predictions elsewhere, research firm eMarketer has revised its projections saying that the rate of US online ad spending growth will halve again in 2009, falling to 4.5 percent.

It is now projecting that 2009 online ad spending will reach $24.5 billion. Previously, eMarketer had predicted an increase of 8.9 percent, with online ad spending reaching $25.7 billion. But despite the negative news, eMarketer analysts are looking on the bright side of life.

“Particularly in this economy,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analysti, “it has to be considered good times when US online ad spending reaches record highs as it did in Q4 2008 at $6.1 billion and as it will in 2009, at $24.5 billion.”

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