Adding some data to the current debate about what happened to online ads in December — bears say the advertising floor fell out like a baddie’s elevator in a James Bond movie — here is what what one ad-industry CEO said during a JPMorgan conference call today:
- Client online-ad budgets held up through the end of the year, contrary to the gloom-and-doom
- However, consumers dropped the ball, with considerably fewer than expected searches conducted in the last two weeks of December. The upshot: Less saleable inventory for ads than expected, which may play into upcoming Google results.
Overall, I would characterize the JPMorgan call as mildly negative for online ads. And, for what it’s worth, this is a more concerning data point than purported spending declines by U.S. mortgage vendors like Countrywide, et al.