April 15, 2003, 12:00 AM

Books/music/videos category leads in online ad spending

Retailers of books, music and videos spent $3.1 billion to advertise their products online last holiday season. Next were apparel sellers, then travel and computer software, says a new report by DoubleClick.

Retailers of books, music and videos spent $3.1 billion to advertise their products online last holiday season, a rise of 40% over the prior year, as they led all product categories in online advertising expenditures, according to a new report by DoubleClick Inc.

Apparel merchants were the second highest spenders in online advertising, at $2.7 billion, or 20% more than the prior year. The fastest-growing online advertising categories were toys/video games, up 72.5% to $1.84 billion, and consumer electronics, up 72.4% to $1.96 billion.

Other growing categories in 2002 holiday season online advertising, with percent increase over 2001 were:
-- travel, $1.97 billion, 6%;
-- computer software, $866 million, 16%;
-- health and beauty, $716 million, 50%;
-- fitness/sporting goods, $682 million, 58%;
-- greeting cards $105 million, 34%.

Product categories that declined in terms of online ad spending include:
-- computer hardware/peripherals, $781 million, -46%;
-- home and garden, $676 million, -24%;
-- flowers, $285 million, -12%.

Among individual advertisers in the fourth quarter of 2002, the leaders in terms of total impressions:
-- Avon Products Inc., 1.6 billion;
-- Philip Morris Cos. Inc., 1.4 billion;
-- PepsiCo Inc., 841 million;
-- Campbell Soup Co., 701 million;
-- South African Breweries, 606 million;
-- Brown-Forman Corp. (Jack Daniel`s), 319 million;
-- Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., 247 million;
-- The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc., 244 million;
-- Nestle USA Inc., 195 million;
-- Procter & Gamble Co., 188 million;
-- Unilever, 172 million;
-- Tupperware Corp., 136 million;
-- Sara Lee Corp., 124 million;
-- Mars Inc., 123 million;
-- Combe Inc., 119 million.

DoubleClick`s April 2003 Smart Marketing Report included data from Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive and Nielsen/NetRatings.

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