Nielsen: Web Ads Still Growing In Volume, They’re Just Cheaper

So much for the doomsaying, and so much for the figures that have shown online ad spend slowing, plateauing or even reversing lately. The number of online advertisers, number of campaigns and the number of creatives they used in the first four months of ’09 were actually 21 percent higher than last year, Nielsen Online reckons.

On an annualised basis, that’s not much slower than the 49 percent hike in the advertiser volume the metrics firm says there has been since 2007. And it appears to defy current conditions, which have seen ad buyers state increasingly large negative forecasts for ’09 UK ad spend and ad-centric publishers succumbing to what they say is a drop-off in advertising levels.

So why the incongruity? Nielsen isn’t measuring spend, just activity – analyst and communications director Alexander Burmaster told me: “Whilst CPM rates are down, there is still an uplift in the number of campaigns being placed. Whilst the pressures on ad rates are continuously pushed to the limit, the quantity of advertising continues to grow.” So, more ads but cheaper rates could still mean falling spend.

On average, each month saw over 5,900 advertisers run web display campaigns, nearly 11,000 campaigns and 32,000 different ad creatives. Ecommerce and finance companies continued to place the majority of ads. More in the release.