Will Online Advertising Finally Take a Hit Now?

So far, online advertising doesn’t seem to have been hit in the economic troubles growing out of the credit crunch, and forecasters are looking for 25%-plus growth this year. But with recession talk intensifying, so are worries that online ads could suffer.

Larry Dignan at ZDNet’s Between the Lines notes that Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide Financial, a huge online advertiser, almost certainly will mean less spending by that combined entity. And Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider, who has been beating this drum for awhile, thinks the online recession will hit this quarter. He thinks even Google ultimately won’t be spared.

I think the big guys like Google, especially, because search ads have such a measurable return, and even Yahoo and MSN, because of their reach, will be the last to get hit. Seems like the small sites (Web 2.Uh-Oh) and experimental efforts like social advertising (Facebook?) will get cut first, unless they can boast very compelling results to marketers. But I can’t see how anybody goes unaffected if the economy keeps tanking.