INTERACTIVE: INTERNET ADWATCH - It was a quiet month with few changes, spiced up by safe sex, Karen Yates says

A general dip in advertising expenditure on the net during May - to pounds 836,000 from over pounds 1 million in March and April - made for a fairly lacklustre month overall, according to the latest figures from Fletcher Research’s AdWatch study. The good news is that spend should be up again next month.

A general dip in advertising expenditure on the net during May - to

pounds 836,000 from over pounds 1 million in March and April - made for

a fairly lacklustre month overall, according to the latest figures from

Fletcher Research’s AdWatch study. The good news is that spend should be

up again next month.



The top ten website advertisers remained pretty much the same, with BT

hanging on to its position at the top of the league and computer and

other IT companies dominating the line-up. But there were also some

surprises.



Yes, condoms. The London International Group zoomed in at number four in

AdWatch’s table of the UK’s top consumer goods advertisers on the net,

with a campaign to give away prophylactics.



LIG had first toyed with this medium in the US, where it promoted a new

brand, Avanti, by running traditional mainstream advertising to direct

consumers to its website. Here they could log on for free samples of the

new condom. It is often quite difficult to get a dialogue going with

users about such a sensitive subject as contraceptives and LIG was so

delighted with the response that a similar exercise was begun over here

in May.



The ads were run exclusively on mainstream media-owner sites.



As you would expect, a look at the UK’s top consumer goods advertisers

on the net includes a fair sprinkling of car sellers, with Peugeot

Citroen topping the league and Ford, Volvo and Auto Trader following up.

Another predictable group are the bookshops. These did not include the

internet’s biggest seller, Amazon, as AdWatch only includes UK sites.

Amazon should shoot to the top once it launches here (see above), but

the list already includes the Internet Bookshop and Blackwells.



Tying for top place in the league with the Internet Bookshop and Peugeot

Citroen was the newly renamed Arcadia group (formerly Burton). This

retail conglomerate rotates ads for its various brands, such as Dorothy

Perkins and Burton, across magazine sites on the net.



There were two new appearances on the overall list of top ten internet

advertisers: Philips and Looksmart. Looksmart, the sixth biggest search

engine, has been running ads for its service, while Philips came in at

number ten because of its campaign for its television monitors and the

hand-held computer, Velo.



Top 10 UK advertisers

1    BT                                  36

2    Digital Equipment                   34

3    IBM                                 29

4    Looksmart                           23

5    Microsoft                           21

6    Legal & General                     19

7=   Hewlett Packard                     18

7=   Gateway 2000 Europe                 18

9=   Intel Corporation                   17

9=   Philips                             17

Top 10 UK consumer advertisers

1=   PSA Peugeot Citroen                 10

1=   Arcadia Group                       10

1=   Internet Bookshop                   10

4    London International Group           9

5    Auto Trader                          8

6=   Ford Motor Company                   7

6=   Shop Direct                          7

8=   Blackwells                           5

8=   Volvo                                5

-    -                                    -

Internet Adwatch values estimated using rate-card equivalent prices.

Estimates do not take into account publishers’ discounts. Excludes

advertising and ads placed with barter networks (eg LinkExchange)

Data supplied from internet AdWatch(tm), the advertising monitor

produced by Fletcher Research (www.fletch.co.uk, 0800-068 1101)



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