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News Flash: February Shorter than January

wheel of media misfortuneYep, it’s that time again. The sky is falling. Today, we’ll figure out who it’s supposed to be falling on by spinning the wheel of companies that the media feels great, true ambivalence towards and come up with . . . Facebook—no, at the last second, it’s Google. Okay, so let’s dump on Google today.

comScore’s data says that Google’s click growth on paid listings has slowed again:

  • January’s clicks were off from December’s by 7.5% (January clicks = 532 M)
  • February’s clicks were off January’s by 3% (February clicks = 515 M)
  • February’s clicks were up over last February’s clicks by 3%

Can you hear the sarcasm when I say, “Well, geez, if that’s not a sure sign of a recession, I don’t know what is!”?

Video Ads Live on Google SERPs

It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve long seen it coming down the pike: Google’s got video ads in search engine results pages today. Danny Sullivan has long said that Universal Search, with its integrated video in SERPs, was just the first step toward video ads in the sidebar and above the natural results. Just last month, Marissa Mayer was talking about video ads with the New York Times.

And now they’re live: but Google’s approach is still “delicate,” as Mayer said it would be. Video ads are appearing on select queries as plus box results accompanying a regular text ad. The plus box text has read “Watch commercial,” “Watch demonstration” and “Watch testimonial.” (Any guesses which of these might convert the best?)

82% Jump in “New Media” Spending Expected Over the Next Four Years

If you happen to find yourself working in the brave new world of "new media," raise your hands to the roof and give yourself a "w00t, w00t!"

According to a new report from PQ Media (via USA Today) we can expect companies to spend a lot more money on next generation marketing campaigns over the next four years.

…companies will spend more than $160.8 billion in 2012 — up 82% from 2008 — on 18 emerging markets including online videos, store-based TV screens, sponsored events, TV and movie product placements, cellphones, video games and digital video recorders.

Not only will companies spend more money on new media, these channels will account for almost 27% of all ad and marketing spend by 2012–compared to just 16% in 2008.

General Motors to Spend $1.5 Billion on Online Advertising

I’ve been blogging about how traditional companies are putting more of their advertising budgets online and more local businesses are going online for the first time. Here’s more evidence.

General Motors is leading the auto industry in shifting their traditional advertising campaigns to online marketing. The third-largest advertiser will spend half of their $3 billion advertising budget online. They give it 3 years to get there. Last year GM spent $197 million online.

How will they spend it?
The auto industry spends a lot on advertising – spending $9.42 billion on advertising last year. I’m sure they’ll do plenty of searh marketing but GM also mentioned advertising in games, on widgets, and other online advertising.

ValueClick’s Record $2.9 Million Fine for Deception

CNET has news that online advertising company ValueClick has agreed to pay a $2.9 million fine as part of a settlement with the FTC.

…ValueClick and its subsidiary Hi-Speed Media have been attempting to lure consumers to their Web sites through e-mails and Web-based ads bearing slogans like “Free PS3 for survey” or “let us buy you a 42 inch plasma tv! Just type in your zip code.” The purpose of those operations was “lead generation”–that is, connecting consumers with advertisers trying to sell certain goods or services, the FTC complaint said.

Trouble is, the companies didn’t disclose “clearly and conspicuously” that, in reality, the offers weren’t exactly free, the FTC charged. Instead, consumers were required to fulfill certain obligations or incur various other expenses–for instance, applying for car loans or credit cards–in order to qualify for those goods.

Search Engine Marketing to Projected to Reach $25.2 billion in 2011

The nonprofit Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) surveyed over 867 search engine advertisers and SEM agencies to get a picture of the state of the search engine marketing industry. The 2007 SEMPO State of the Market Survey shows that contrary to worries about the economy, search engine marketing budgets have risen even higher than projected.

That’s the findings SEMPO is releasing today at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference in New York. They found that things look rosy for the search engine marketing industry. The North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 billion in 2006 to $12.2 billion in 2007. That’s more than earlier projections of $11.5 billion in 2007. Forecasts for this year was that the industry would reach $25.2 billion by 2011. Again, the projection is up significantly – last year the projection was $18.6 billion.

Google Wastes No Time – Introduces Google Ad Manager

On the heels of completing their acquisition of DoubleClick this week, Google is releasing the beta version of Google Ad Manager. It’s a tool for advertisers to manage their ad campaigns. DoubleClick has similar services which Google will continue to support however they will not be free.

Essentially with this tool small businesses can optimize and manage their ad inventory and see how its performing. And it will display Google AdSense as a default for unsold ad space. It will track different types of advertising including: display, search, affiliate, rich media, and video advertising.

Google Ad Manager is a free, hosted ad and inventory management tool that can help publishers sell, schedule, deliver and measure their directly-sold and network-based ad inventory. It offers an intuitive and simple user experience with Google speed and a tagging process … providing detailed inventory forecasts and tracking at a very granular level, Ad Manager helps publishers maximize their inventory sell-through rates.”