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Ads on Financial Site About to Become a Lot More Valuable

With Wall Street collapsing and advertising spend rates waning, where should advertisers look to reach consumers? Well, online trading sites are seeing a huge bump in traffic, according to Nielsen Online. Visitors to Internet financial sites surged by 30 percent last week compared to average weekly traffic.

It's good news for publishers that cater to nervous investors. The company also notes that according to its Blogpulse engine, there have been huge surges in searches for "401K," "Wall Street," and "bailout." Advertising networks like Alacra, which caters to financial websites, may actually be in for boom times as millions of worried consumers find themselves checking their 401K more often than they check their email.

For those outside of the financial sphere, are there any bright spots? Well, maybe not. In MediaPost article today Diane Mermigas warns that the recently lowered ad spend forecasts are likely to go even lower:

Bottom line: The six- to-18-month outlook is dismal for industries that are dependent upon advertiser and consumer spending.

Since all of the existing 2008 and 2009 advertiser and consumer spending forecasts were made prior to the worst of the current turmoil, it is likely that most will be revised downward in the coming months. How low will they go, and how will that adversely impact media companies?

At some point, businessesâ€"which are potential marketersâ€"may need to decide between making their payroll or advertising; consumers will have to choose between putting food on the table or buying the latest electronics. The choices won't be difficult.

In other words, it's time for most ad agencies to focus on direct sales and hope for the best. Purveyors of consumer goods that rely on credit, which is pretty much anything over a thousand dollars, may be due for a steep decline. Branding doesn't mean much when people are focused on paying bills and keeping their family's financial situation solvent.
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