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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The tipping point for b2b online advertising?


The latest statistics from the Advertising Association make grim reading for traditional publishers. In the year to March 2006, advertising spend on business and professional magazines fell in real terms by 1.4%.

IN 2001, not a good year for business magazines as they struggled to recover from the bursting of the dotcom bubble and the consequent collapse in technology advertising, the value of display advertsing in business magazines was £684m. On a moving annual total basis its just £627m today.

Classified advertsing is even worse falling from £518m in 2001 to just £434m today. For classified advertising read, recruitment advertising.

Let's think about what that means. In five years we destroyed a company twice the size of Centaur Media, or about the size of RBI's magazine business. That's not good.

The AA don't seperate their statistics for internet advertising between business and consumer. It's about time they did. However, we do know from their survey that the total value of internet advertising in the last twelve months was more than £1.5b, up 60% on a year ago.

Are we approaching what Malcolm Gladwell calls the tipping point? Are business media companies moving fast enough to adapt to this new world? The answer is no, but there is still time - just.

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