JP Morgan: Web Ad Economy Could Recover by End of 2009

Last Updated Mar 27, 2009 4:58 PM EDT

JP Morgan's Imran Khan predicted a recovery for web advertising in the second half of 2009 at the Pontiflex CPL Summit in New York on Thursday evening. About 50-100 people in the web advertising business attended, including Kate Johnson, personal care consumer relationship marketing manager at Kimberly-Clark; Ross Geisel, assistant director of interactive marketing at UNICEF; Brian Costello, gm/vp at Valassis' RedPlum Network; and Michael Wunsch, director of interactive marketing at LeapFrog Interactive.

The conference was held at Manhattan's Explorer's Club, which features a stuffed polar bear on the second landing (pictured). It was not clear whether this endangered animal was intended as some sort of message about traditional advertising.

In an upbeat address, Khan -- who covers Google, IAC, News Corp, Omniture, Time Warner, Viacom and Yahoo!, among others -- noted that the web is well-poised to cash in when the recovery arrives. TV accounts for 37 percent of consumer time spent with media, the web accounts for 29 percent, but the latter gets only 8 percent of ad dollars right now. So there is a significant upside yet to arrive on the web, Khan believes. He also notes that among youth, 38 percent of their media time is spent on the web -- surpassing that of TV.

The biggest downside is for newspapers. They command 8 percent of consumer media time but receive 20 percent of ad dollars.

As might be expected at a cost-per-lead conference, Khan said performance-based advertising would far outstrip non-performance ads, such as banners. Both categories are still growing he said, but performance-based ads took in $25 billion whereas non-performance-based ads took in $15 billion last year.