Ad Sales Are Either Okay, Growing Slower, or Soft. Pick Your Answer!

Depending on who you ask, the ad market is holding steady, or growing more slowly than predicted, or maybe something a little more dire.
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Another 2008 Flashback: Ad Spending Already Contracting

It’s still growing, mind you. But it turns out ad growth might have peaked a year ago.
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LinkedIn Gives Wall Street a Tiny Bit of Cheer, Then Something to Worry About

Next question: What does a job-hunting site that sells ads do during a (gulp) recession?
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Web Ads Taking Off Again: Q1 Revenues A Record $7.3 Billion

Remember when the economy was so lousy that even Web ads were down? Ancient history, at least as far as the Internet’s concerned.
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Intel Adds $10 Billion to Buyback Plan

Intel Corp.’s board authorized the company to buy back another $10 billion in stock as the chip maker seeks to return cash to shareholders and resurrect a depressed stock.

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Retailers Rejoice: Holiday Shopping Soars to Pre-Recession Levels

Shoppers splurged this holiday season, by spending more than they have in the past three years, according to preliminary retail data from MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks retail sales. In the 50 days before Christmas, spending rose 5.5 percent to exceed forecasts. In 2009, spending increased only 4 percent, and the year before, Americans tightened their buckles so much, sales dropped by 6 percent, reports the New York Times. All categories benefited, including apparel, jewelry, luxury goods and home furniture.

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More Tech Firms in Festive Mood

Silicon Valley’s improving outlook is beginning to manifest itself through local companies’ holiday gifts and parties. Take Equilar Inc. Last year, the Redwood City-based compensation-research firm handed out pullover fleeces with the company’s logo as an end-of-year gift to its work force. This year, the firm held a Thanksgiving lunch and went one better: It gave out Apple Inc. iPads, which start at $499, to all 74 employees.

Today's Daily Cord-Cutting Denial: Viacom

We know the drill by now: Cable company exec speaks in a public setting, gets asked about “cord cutting” and says he can’t see it. Cue disbelief.

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Silicon Valley 3.0: Tech's New Wave

Edenvale Technology Park gives a glimpse of the new Silicon Valley. The long recession only tiptoed through the 2,300-acre office park, with many start-ups here expanding their operations over the past 18 months. One prominent tenant, solar company Nanosolar Inc., began producing solar panels in March and plans to add space and more employees to its 350-person work force.

News Byte

Magazine Publishers Turn Back From the Abyss

Magazine publishers took a particularly brutal beating during the last ad recession, so they have a very long way to go if they’re going to climb back. Still, this is a start: Ad pages increased 3.6 percent in the last three months, and that’s the second consecutive quarter of growth, according to the industry trade group that used to call itself the Magazine Publishers of America. Worth noting that Condé Nast’s Wired, which may have the most successful iPad magazine app, saw ad pages jump 32.8 percent.

Econalypse Fin