Data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PriceWaterhouseCoopers indicates a five-per-cent decline year-over-year in online advertising in the first quarter of 2009.
That marks the first such decline since 2002.
The $5.48 billion in spending was down from $5.72 billion in the first quarter of 2008, but industry experts believe the setback is temporary and owing to the recession. While legacy media advertising declines are far steeper in the U.S., the online downturn is relatively mild.
A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) provides a very strong overview for anyone trying to understand the evolving relationship between advertising, marketing and social media.
It encourages risk as advertisers take their messages to digital spaces and it encourages patience and respect as advertisers receive messages from the public. In the same way journalism is being encouraged to converse, so are advertisers. They're also being counselled to simply think of themselves as another participating voice, and not the voice.
As for fears of public comments, the report notes controls and regulations on user-generated content sites that help address concerns about the equivalent of corporate vandalism.
The online committee of IAB comprises many of the largest voices in advertising and marketing, so its report is likely a sign of what's to come.