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TV Sucks, Internet Rules.


Not only is America fatter than the Brits, but we watch more TV, too. According to Group M, a subsidiary of WPP Group, advertising on the Internet will overtake television ads in the UK by next year. Sweden’s day is expected to come even sooner, with estimates that Internet ad spending will overtake that of television ads by the end of 2008. That’s very soon; even sooner than expected for the US, where print and television ads are still rather prominent, and advertising overall is expected to slow.

GroupM has noted that residents in the UK are among the world’s heaviest Internet users, granting the necessity for advertising dollars to merely follow the crowd. This is actually a special case, due to the fact that the UK’s share of media spending is depressed by the non-commercial BBC and still healthy print sector. Nevertheless, those guys across the pond just really love to surf the web. GroupM has also estimated that UK’s search engines accounted for 63% of Internet advertising revenue in 2007, with an expected 2% increase for 2008.

Back in the US, the most dismal of all advertising channels is the radio, with online advertising surpassing this medium for the first time in 2007. Yes, the world is changing. What are you going to do about it? CBS has seemed to take a few steps in the expected direction, upping its initiatives for a larger web presence as well as pushing radio and music content deeper through the web. And as advertising methods get more and more clever (and more entities get to stick their hands in the pot), it’s only a matter of time before advertisers find ways to force us to view their ads.

I actually don’t mind the majority of online ads as they currently stand. What I do fear, though, is an overwhelming sense of control that advertising could take when it comes to our media. I don’t think that will happen to the extent it did with the radio, television and magazines, thanks to the control and personalization that Internet distribution offers. Hopefully the advertisers will see this as a silver lining as well, meaning their ads don’t have to be so over-arching and extreme in order to gain mass appeal and apply to a large number of consumers.




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