Q&A: When Will Online Ad Spend Surpass TV?

Last Updated Aug 11, 2008 3:33 PM EDT

This week, I'll be asking some of the big questions I have about the advertising industry to people who have skin in the game.
BNET: When will online surpass TV in ad spend?
Michael Sprouse, CMO of Epic Advertising: Probably not anytime soon since as of April 2008, network and cable TV ad spend dramatically outpaced online. However, online ad spend is growing on a percentage basis and will continue to close the gap between TV with each passing month as more and more people realize the inherent qualities and effectiveness of online. Every day, there are advancements made in the online advertising industry that enable more effective advertising, the same can't be said of TV. And that is what all advertisers, regardless of type, want â€" effectiveness.

Dave Martin, Vice President of Interactive Media, Ignite: Online spend won't surpass television, instead TV is going to become interactive with addressable cable and data-collection at the set top box level. As digital cable becomes more addressable, it will require interactive media specialists to take full advantage of the new targeting capabilities in the living room. We'll see an appreciable shift within 3 years from "TV advertising" to "Interactive TV advertising."

Larry Mann, Executive Vice President, rEvolution: It's my opinion that online will never surpass the old television advertising medium. I think there are many factors that will keep online as a secondary medium, such as the limitations that online offers for creative messaging as well as the fragmentation of the online audience. Television is still an efficient way to reach a large and engaged audience. Companies and agencies recognize that there might be a shift in percentage of budget to online, but in my opinion it won't surpass it.