Gawker’s Denton: Ad Economy Not So Bad After All; ‘Pageview Bonus System’ Will Resume

imageDespite all the gloom and doom Gawker Media head Nick Denton said was coming back in November, so far things haven’t turned out that badly. Not that things are great, but the sky hasn’t fallen on online advertising. Certainly not at Gawker, at least, where Q2 revenues are up 27 percent.

In a Q&A with AdAge’s Michael Learmonth, Denton maintains his stance that publishers should plan for up to 40 percent decline during the cycle, though not for the year. He does concede that his thesis was based on marketers lowering their budgets widely and indiscriminately, though it appears they’ve been making much more selective cuts. Speaking for the Gawker network, Denton claims that advertising from entertainment companies like HBO and Showtime have become regular fixtures, while Gizmodo has also remained in the marketing orbit of tech companies like *Sprint* and T-Mobile. More interview highlights after the jump

Bigger is better looking: Denton is very much in favor of the new, larger display formats being promoted by the Online Publishers Association and the Interactive Advertising Bureau. “Nobody complains that the ads in Vanity Fair are lavish. Why should premium sites on the web be any different? With about 13 million unique visitors in the U.S., we finally achieved scale. We’ve been more willing to provide value to advertisers — in the form of our giant marquee ads, for instance. And I do wonder whether online marketers are finally distinguishing between crappy networks and online properties with genuine followings.”

The bonus army: Gawker is putting much more emphasis on original reporting, arguing that Gawker’s breaking news gets rewarded with 10 times or even 100 times the pageviews that linking to someone else’s blog post gets. And while AdAge says Denton

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