Online advertising market, cushioned from financial crisis?

Although it is a less tangible field, the current financial crisis grips the online advertising market which in Romania hovers around 14-18 million euros. As for possible effects, according to specialists surveyed by Wall-Street, there is a reduced trend of advertisers to add online components to their ATL campaigns, a limited growth rate of budgets allotted to online promotion, modifications in consumption of mainstream-premium split and websites shutdowns.

Is domestic online advertising, furled by “financial fever”?

Liquidity shortage is not, at least for the moment, a real threat for the online advertising in Romania, where the local industry represents a mere 0.01% share of the global business, according to Claudiu Gamulescu, online business developer of Boom Advertising, online sale department of Netbridge Investments.

However, he forecasts a temporary decline of budgets allocated to online advertising, especially by banking-financial clients, followed afterwards by a raise of the amounts in order to gain the market.
Radu Ionescu, co-founder and managing director Kinecto, says this situation of economic uncertainty will affect not only the online landscape, but rather the marketing budgets blueprints of several companies in Romania.

“However, I believe that the online field will not be the first to fall, especially because budgets for this form of advertising are already low, and I don’t know how many players can actually afford to “fade out” from the online landscape, even in times of crisis”, said Ionescu.

Moreover, Mihai Seceleanu, manager at InternetCorp said the online advertising industry would be less gripped by the US financial crisis.

“Furthermore, I believe that on medium-range, we will see a clear growth of online advertising share in advertisers’ budgets, which on a long run, it can only be a positive factor for the industry”, Seceleanu stated.

The only certain thing is that car makers and real estate developers are among those who face problems, although it is likely to be the clients who will carry a joint action to cut costs and advertising budgets implicitly, Mihai Seceleanu added.

Online business daily Wall-Street is edited by online publisher InternetCorp.

Calin Rotarus, managing director of ARBOinteractive, forecasts a growth of online industry, due to redirection towards the most effective communication channels, where the return of investment can be managed.

“Everybody reads twice before signing now”

Bogdana Butnar (photo), manager of MRM Partners Romania, the digital communication company within McCann Worldgroup has a more pessimistic viewpoint on the financial crisis’ impact over the domestic online market.

“Effects are already visible, and even if there are several multinationals that cut from the Internet budgets, the fact is that everybody is looking twice before signing something now. The effects will be visible both at the level of ads (banner ads) and in websites, theme websites”, said Butnar.

Cristi Parvan, interactive media manager at Zed Digital, subsidiary of Zentih Media, the current economic crisis may reshape the online advertising in Romania.

Orlando Nicoara, CEO at MediaPro Interactiv, the internet division of MediaPro says the online advertising in Romania starts to be affected by the current financial juncture.

“There are already clients who aborted online promotion for this year end, which will lead to a value lower that initial estimations for online advertising market in 2008,” Said Nicoara.

Translated by Camelia Oancea

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