Internet Companies Launching Campaign to Gain Advertising Dollars

Major Internet-based companies are launching an advertising blitz of their own to counter broadcast television’s traditional spring upfront advertising. The on-line version has been dubbed Digital Content New Fronts and big names such as Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), AOL (NYSE:AOL), Hulu (NYSE:DIS)(NASDAQ:CMCSA)(NASDAQ:NWSA), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) are taking part. While broadcast television uses their May advertising upfront to tout new series airing in the fall, the Internet giants will use their two-week campaign in April to tout their line-ups as well, but also to spotlight advertising opportunities.

The WSJ reports that each of the major Internet companies will take a day during the campaign to advertise their content and also try to attract advertisers. The companies as a whole are hoping that appealing to advertisers early in the year will help to increase on-line’s piece of the advertising pie. The Hollywood Reporter quoted  Colin Kinsella, CEO of the North America operations of ad agency Digitas, which came up with the idea for the event, who said, “We need to show there is a new game in town.”

Although e-advertising is growing, up a whopping 55 percent last year over 2010 according to WSJ, only $2.02 billion was spent on Internet advertising last year compared to $60.7 billion doled out for broadcast television advertising. Mickie Rosen, senior VP of Yahoo Media Network told WSJ, “There is a big gap between the time consumers are spending on digital platforms and the amount of ad spend.” Early advertising commitments will help the web-based companies by increasing their revenue visibility and by allowing them to see what level of programming investment make sense according to the Journal.