The Future of Advertising, According to Microsoft

Joanne Bradford, the head of sales at Microsoft's MSN service, stops by to talk advertising.

Joanne Bradford, the head of sales at Microsoft's MSN service stopped in yesterday to talk about advertising. About 10 reporters piled into the conference room to meet her, so you can see what we're wondering about these days....Bradford was in charge of North American ad sales for BusinessWeek, so she could give her take on traditional publishing as well as digital advertising.

She outlined the continued fight print is in for, as ad sales slow or even decline. Her view is there are too many publications out there and that in each category, entertainment, gardening, business, whatever, there will be a fight to remain standing. She thought that the winner in each category would actually grow, on the backs of the losers.

Still, that's a hollow victory, it seems to me, unless you're just as creative in making sure you battle it out online.

On online advertising, she echoed the view that display or brand marketing was in for faster growth than search. In part because display advertising has become more sophisticated and search is through its first big growth stage. But she talked about how search will expand as companies plumb deep into new areas, such as local information and images.

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