Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hey, Guess What Happens to Advertising if the Economy Tanks

Here’s some unpleasant deja vu: Summer’s over, the economy is wobbling and analysts are starting to hack away at advertising forecasts.

2011 isn’t 2008, yet. So Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente doesn’t think the ad business is going to get hammered — he just thinks it’s going to grow less. The exception here is very old print media, like magazines, newspapers and direct mail, in part because of pressure from daily-deal guys like Groupon and Living Social.

Note that Time Warner has already said it has seen weakness at Time Inc. during Q3, and I’ve heard the same from other publishers, as well.

And as with the last go-round, DiClemente (and others) argue that Web advertising will fare best if we really do go into a double dip.

It’s the same argument, too: Ad dollars still haven’t completely followed consumers into the Web, so there’s plenty of growth left, especially when it comes to video, etc. And Web advertising is more efficient than offline, so in a cash crunch, advertisers will have more incentive to use it, etc.

Which may all be true (I hope it is, given where you’re reading this). But also note that both AOL and Yahoo have made noises about softness in display ads this summer. Then again, both of those companies have plenty of their own problems.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald