A 27% decline in image-based online ad spending by financial services companies drove a 6% year-over-year decrease in total image-based online advertising and a 9% slide in image-based impressions in the first half of 2008, according to Nielsen Online.
The financial services industry, which is consistently among the top online advertiser segments, spent an estimated $1.1 billion during the first two quarters, compared with $1.5 billion during the same period in 2007. The public services industry – historically a smaller advertising segment – also contributed to the decrease, declining 38%.
A number of industries, however, did show strong growth in online advertising:
- Entertainment industry spending increased 47%, compared with the same period in 2007.
- The automotive industry had 45% growth.
- Consumer goods advertisers were up 32%.
Spending on rich media advertising increased 60% in the first half of 2008, indicating a growing adoption of these technologies in online advertising campaigns.
When including paid search figures as publicly reported by the major search providers, along with the projected growth of online video advertising, Nielsen estimates that overall online ad spending increased approximately 11% during the first half of 2008.
“The early 2008 decline in image-based online ad spend reflects the macro movements in the overall economy, particularly within the financial services industry,” said Jon Gibs, vice-president, media analytics, Nielsen Online.
“The good news is that we saw large gains from brand advertisers, including Anheuser-Busch, Unilever, Toyota and General Motors, among others, which bodes well for the future. The shift we’re seeing from display ads to rich media and text formats opens up even more creative possibilities for advertisers and should drive continued growth in the online advertising sector.”