Online Marketers Turning to Offline Ads?

Can it be true? Online marketers are starting to see the benefits in advertising “the old way”? According to the WSJ, many staunch supporters of online advertising are starting to see the benefits of offline ads too.

“The big brands have stepped into this market in a big way, and we can’t afford to play that game,” says Shmuel Gniwisch, chief executive of online jewelry retailer Ice.com Inc., which now spends roughly 20% of its advertising budget offline, up from nothing two years ago.

The company has stopped purchasing some pricey keywords like “jewelry” and “diamond” and is working to develop a home-shopping television program and aggressively to court free product placements on hit shows like ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” instead.

Kiwis Using Google to Find Sheep

Someone at The Sydney Morning Herald has far too much time on their hands, after revealing their New Zealand cousins are tops when it comes for searching for “sheep” and “porn”. :-)

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Google Reveals Master Plan for Video AdWords

Over at the Inside AdWords blog, comes news that Google is launching video ads for AdWords. Now, don’t go getting all excited about running video ads on Google.com. Apparantly, running video ads on the Google network would devalue the user experience, but running them on Google’s AdSense network, well, those people don’t have any self-respect so they’re fair game. ;-)

What exactly are we getting from the new video ads?

First, as with all AdWords ad formats, video ads will compete for placement on sites in the Google content network with other text, Flash and image ads — and, as with our other image ad placements, you can choose to bid on a CPC or CPM basis.

Crappy Open Directory Listing? MSN to the Rescue

Now this is a cool announcement. MSN is giving webmasters a way to opt-out of having their Open Directory listing displayed in the search results.

This is great for anyone that has an outdated ODP listing – who doesn’t these days – or simply prefers not to have it displayed for their site.

As MSN points out, just don’t expect an immediate fix:

A word of caution: Putting either tag in your pages will not make your search results descriptions change immediately – they will change once our crawler has re-crawled the page. Usually that takes about 1 day -4 weeks for us to re-crawl you (ok, that sounds odd, but we hope you know what we mean). :)

Nice work guys. Let’s hope Google goes along with the new tag.

Google Continues to Make Footstool of Yahoo and MSN

According to new ComScore data, Google continues to dominate the search space, growing its market share…

…users climbed from 42.7 percent to 43.1 percent from March to April of this year–up from 36.5 percent in April 2005.

Yahoo and MSN? Not so much…

In second place, Yahoo saw its market share hold steady at 28 percent between March and April, a decrease of 2.7 percent from last year.

MSN also continued to fall, leaving its market share at 12.9 percent in April of this year, down from 16.1 percent at the same time last year

Cool, glad to see Yahoo knows how to beat Google. And Microsoft might need more than 5 years, if they have any chance at all. ;-)

Special Olympics North Carolina Needs Volunteers

The Special Olympics North Carolina will hold its Summer Games in Raleigh June 2-4. As you know, Fortune Interactive is a big supporter of the SONC, so I’m posting this message as a community alert for all readers in the Triangle area.

The SONC still needs volunteers for the Summer Games. If you can donate just a few hours of your time, you’ll help 1,200 atheletes compete in various sports. You’ll have a blast and help a worthwhile group. More information here or contact me directly, and I’ll put you in touch.

Marketing Holding Companies Suck?

MarketingVOX shares details of the 4th Annual PRWeek/MS&L Marketing Management Survey which seems to indicate independent marketing firms deliver better than holding companies.

Only 7.5 percent of marketers said holding companies were more effective at offering integrated strategies than independent firms.

It also looks like more companies are turning to internet agencies…

The most significant change over last year’s agency mix is that the number of marketers using Internet/new-media agencies has nearly doubled, from 9.8% to 19.2%.

Hoorah for the independent internet firms!