June 19, 2002, 12:00 AM

Retailers lead the way in online advertising

Online retailers’ web-based ad impressions boomed in the past year, reaching 33.8 billion in May, up 74% from 19.4 billion in May 2001.

Online retailers’ Internet-based ad impressions boomed in the past year, reaching 33.8 billion in May, up 74% from 19.4 billion in May 2001, Nielsen/NetRatings’ AdRelevance survey reports.

Online merchants continue in the forefront of Internet-based advertising, accounting for 36% of all online ad impressions, the same proportion they held a year ago in a smaller market.

The next largest industry advertising online is financial services, with 14.3 billion impressions, up 59% over May 2001’s 9.1 billion.

Overall online advertising grew 77% over last year, with 94 billion ad impressions in May up from 52.4 billion in May 2001.

"Retail companies continue to lead all industry segments in using the web to get their marketing and branding messages across," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics, NetRatings. "Books and CDs are still the most dominant products promoted on the web, as evidenced by this month`s top advertiser, Bertelsmann, who led with large campaigns for DoubleDirect and CDNow."

Third highest number of ad impressions was recorded by web media companies, at 12.1 billion, up 38% from 8.8 billion a year ago. Fourth was travel with 5.4 billion impressions, up 304% from 1.3 billion a year ago and fifth was entertainment at 4.3 billion, up 70% from 2.5 billion.

Six of the top 10 advertisers in May were retailers with Bertelsmann AG leading with 5.2 billion impressions.

"The May figures reflect an online ad market that is poised for growth, but continues to employ tried and tested approaches," Buchwalter said. “Full banner continues to be the most prevalent ad element, accounting for 32% of all impressions, indicating that the next wave of online advertising innovation has yet to arrive."

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