Report: Retailers Serve Most Online Ad Impressions

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Retail goods and services was the No. 1 industry advertising on the Web in May, according to a Nielsen//NetRatings report released yesterday.

The retail goods and services sector accounted for 33.8 billion ad impressions, the New York online audience measurement firm said. Overall, online ad impressions rose 77 percent over the same period last year from 53.2 billion to 94.2 billion, Nielsen//NetRatings reported.

Financial services came in second, serving 14.4 billion online ad impressions. Web media-related ads were third, at 12.1 billion. Travel and entertainment advertising were fourth and fifth, serving 5.4 billion and 4.3 billion, respectively.

Categories six through 13 were consumer goods, telecommunications, health, hardware and electronics, business-to-business, public services, automotive and software.

Nielsen//NetRatings defines retail goods and services companies mainly as distributors and consumer goods companies as manufacturers. Companies that distribute their own brands like L.L. Bean also fall into the consumer goods category, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Spiegel Inc., for example, topped the consumer goods sector, serving 407.6 million ads in May.

Travel showed the largest percentage of growth, going from 1.3 billion impressions in May 2001 to 5.4 billion in 2002, a 304 percent boost, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Business-to-business was the sole shrinking category, falling 17 percent from 3.8 billion impressions in May 2001 to 3.2 billion in May 2002, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Bertelsmann AG was the No. 1 advertiser in the retail goods and services sector, serving 5.2 billion online ad impressions in May, Nielsen//NetRatings said. Netstock Corp. topped the financial sector with 1.2 billion.

USA Networks Inc. placed the most ads in both the Web media and travel sectors, serving 1.2 billion and 1 billion impressions in those categories, respectively, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

The much-maligned banner ad remains the dominant ad element online, accounting for 32 percent of all impressions, Nielsen//NetRatings reported.

The company's figures exclude house ads, those placed on a company's own Web site.

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