That’s what this Times article seems to imply:
Last year, Mr. Townsend said, many clients were happy to spend money just to raise awareness. Since January, however, “everyone’s retail-oriented. They want as many clicks for the dollar as possible,” he said.
Well, it’s fine and dandy to harvest demand for as long as you can, using ad networks. But at some point, you have to create demand as well. I sense that as we enter a downturn, the smart marketers are getting ready to do just that, as opposed to chasing ever decreasing margins down the rathole of direct response.