free html hit counter Ad OutLook Not Good? - John Battelle's Search Blog

Ad OutLook Not Good?

By - June 27, 2007

That’s the quote from an advertising study released yesterday.

U.S. advertising spending is predicted to grow a mere 3.1% to $290.3 billion this year, Robert J. Coen, senior VP-director of forecasting at Universal McCann, said in a media briefing Tuesday.

“The outlook for advertising this year is not very good,” Coen said in presenting Universal McCann’s Advertising and Media Outlook Mid-Year Update.

But wait….

Online advertising and search marketing have “violently” impacted established media as the appeal for marketing tactics closely tied to transactions grows.

In terms of national advertising by medium, Internet and direct mail were the biggest gainers in the first quarter, growing 16.7% and 4.5%, respectively, over the same period last year. Spending on TV, spot TV, syndicated TV, spot radio and newspapers decreased in the first quarter.

Ahhh, I see. The outlook is not good *for packaged goods approaches to advertising.* Important distinction…

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4 thoughts on “Ad OutLook Not Good?

  1. JG says:

    Ironically, perhaps, Google’s own spending on traditional advertising is increasing. Just the other day I saw a tied Google / television advertisement on Comedy Central. It was some faux, cartoony folksinger singing about all the things you could buy at, and crooning about how “Google Checkout is preferred”. The big Google Checkout logo then splashed onto the screen, complete with the $10 off offer.

    Whatever happened to the Googly notion of word-of-mouth advertising, of letting their products speak for themselves? Now Google is advertising on television? I mean, television! That strikes me as odd. Maybe the medium’s outlook is not so bad, after all, if the master of online advertising has to turn back to television to promote its own products.

  2. Dan says:


    It is very unlikely that Google is actually paying for these spots.

    The power of the Google brand is that companies like will pay extra to have Google’s brand next to theirs. You see it for HP too with their computers mentioning Google. It is a win win for Google. They get the free media advertising as well as the buzz it generates with posts like this and us commenting on it. I persoanlly think it is genius.

  3. JG says:

    Dan: Ok, so maybe Google didn’t actually pay cash for the ad. I don’t know one way or the other, so I suppose I shouldn’t really say Google’s spending is increasing.

    But the heart of my point is the fact that Google is consciously willing to let their brand be used in this manner. They’re spending “brand capital” on this commercial, by letting their traditional, proud word-of-mouth approach to self-promotion be used in such a crass, non-relevance-focused manner. might be “gaining” in status by having Google’s brand next to theirs. But Google’s brand, which is known for its conscious avoidance of unfocused mass advertising, is being diluted by allowing itself to be used in this manner. Do you see what I mean?

    “… Google Checkout is preferred”, the cartoon guy sings. I mean, come on! How tacky! When was the last time you watched a Ford commercial, and they sung about the type of gas that they preferred in their engine? (“Like a rock.. ooh.. like a rock.. fill ‘er with Chevron premium unleaded.. like putting the oil back into the rock.. like a rock!”)

    Oh, honestly!

  4. Kevin Grames says:

    You mentioned that this commercial featured, ” .. It was some faux, cartoony folksinger singing about .. “

    Guess what? That faux folksinger is none other than Scott Blum himself – founder and CEO of

    That only makes this commercial even creepier to me. It’s usually not a good idea for an ego-driven CEO to thrust himself into marketing campaigns.