Financial Firms Rack Up Online Spending

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Financial services firms accounted for nearly one-third of online advertising dollars spent in the United States by the top 10 advertisers for June, a Nielsen//NetRatings study found.

Three of the top five advertisers were financial services firms. While the top 10 advertisers spent $143 million online in June, Providian Bank Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Capital One Financial Corp. spent $51.7 million combined.

Providian Bank spent the most, shelling out more than $20 million, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. JP Morgan Chase was next, spending $16.9 million. Capital One spent $14.6 million, just behind Sony Corp., which spent $15.5 million.

"The financial ads are an example of the current trend in the world of online advertising: the merger of branding and direct marketing," said Allen Weiner, vice president at NetRatings. "The financial services push is reflective of economic times."

Weiner noted that with the slowing economy, financial services firms are doing everything they can to encourage consumer spending. That includes branding efforts for credit cards and direct marketing through online offers.

"Financial services ads marketing brand names such as Visa, MasterCard and Shell are used for branding, while direct offers are created through the simple click of a banner," he said.

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