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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 10:07 GMT
Adverts on the net 'pay off'
Computer and keyboard
Many surfers find pop-up ads annoying
Online advertising does work and can make a difference in reaching out to new audiences, a study says.

The findings comes at a time when online advertising has slumped dramatically as purse-strings tighten and businesses question the value of such campaigns.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested most surfers ignore banner ads and find pop-up ads annoying and distracting.

But the survey found that online advertising could extend the reach of an ad by about 10% and increase brand awareness by around 6%.

Paying for content

Online ads extend reach by 10%
Increase brand awareness by 6%
US surfers spent $1.3bn online during 2002
Subscription models favoured over micro-payments
Source: EIAA
The European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA) looked at 15 major ad campaigns over the period of a month to find out what impact online advertising had on consumers.

A panel of 2,000 people took part in the study which assessed the impact of adverts when watched only on TV, those seen just online and a combination of both.

There has also been a gap between how ads are measured.

Traditional magazine and TV adverts have been judged by looking at audience reach and brand awareness whereas the click-through rate is used to monitor the success of ads on the internet.

"It shows that online adverts do work," said Bob Ivins, Director of the EIAA.

In the early days of the internet, experts forecast that online advertising would grow exponentially year on year but those high hopes have never been achieved.

This is due partly to the biggest advertising slump in 40 years coupled with over-hyped ambitions for the internet, said Mr Ivins.

But he is convinced online ad campaigns can play a major role in getting brand messages across to an audience and new opportunities to online advertisers offers by broadband.


The next stage will be to study the relative costs of an online campaign compared to an offline one he told delegates at the recent FT New Media and Broadcasting conference in London, where the research was unveiled.

The Online Publishers Association used the conference to show off its latest research into how much people are prepared to pay for content online.

It found that paying for content is beginning to catch on with one in 10 US surfers spending a total of $1.3bn online during 2002.

Micro-payments, paying a small amount such as a dollar to download music, were not catching on, the study found.

Instead people preferred to pay for content via monthly or annual subscriptions, with a spend of around $10 monthly or $48 per year being the norm.

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