Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Some More Positive Murmurs for Web Ads

sunshine-cloudMore upbeat–but not too ecstatic–chatter about the state of the Internet advertising market this morning from Wall Street: Barclays Capital analyst Douglas Anmuth is raising his estimates for Google (GOOG), citing “improving macro conditions [and] a stronger ad market.”

Anmuth says his research shows an increase in pricing for Google’s search ads over the past few months, particularly in the battered retail and auto sectors. His note comes a couple days after Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney raised his Google estimates, citing a dramatic improvement from mid-August to mid-September.

Other Google bulls: Investors, who have been pushing up the company’s shares since March (they’re now hovering near the $500 mark again), and CEO Eric Schmidt, who declared this week that “it’s clear that the worst is behind us.”

The tempered enthusiasm isn’t limited to Google’s chances, by the way. Mahaney also had good things to say about Yahoo’s (YHOO) chances as the economy recovers. While Yahoo is handing over its search business to Microsoft (MSFT), Carol Bartz and crew still dominate the display ad business, and that should be picking up as well, he said.

It is worth noting that Yahoo executives themselves were more cautious this week when asked to describe market trends: At an Advertising Week press conference, Bartz brought out her “still bumping along the bottom” line, while EVP Hilary Schneider said ad sales had stabilized but that she “wouldn’t go so far as to say as we’re seeing a full recovery.”


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus