Performance Anxiety Hits Online Ads

Advertisers want clickthroughs while nervous publishers extol branding. Which side is right? The signs point to a combination of the two

Michael Sands is tired of hearing how much the Internet is like television. But the marketing head of online travel company Orbitz hears this mantra time and again at meetings and industry conferences across the country. He says the refrain comes largely from publishers pushing the idea that the Net is more about connecting people with a brand rather than ringing up sales -- just like TV. "There's a notion that accountability is not the direction to go in," scoffs Sanders, who adds: "That's frightening. Worse, it's a capitulation."

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