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  • [Internet Ad] Clients Often Ahead of the Agencies in Australia
  • November 18, 1998 (SYDNEY, Australia) -- The recent release of the first Australian Online Readership Survey by Sydney Internet research company APT Strategies Pty., Ltd. (APT) is an indicator of the raised commercial profile of the local Internet media industry.
    "Advertising agencies and media planners will now be able to confidently use these third party demographics that can be compared to traditional Roy Morgan readership figures of newspapers and magazines," said Anthony Bertini, managing director of Bertini Murray & Associates, Australia's largest broker of Internet advertising .

    According to APT, current expenditures on Internet advertising are around A$10 million (US$6.4 million), and they are forecast to reach A$150 million by the year 2000.

    Local advertisers will also be heartened by new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures which show strong growth in the number of users in the home market.

    ABS figures show that Internet access by Australian households grew to 14 percent of all households between February and May this year. Currently 34 percent of households with a computer now have Internet access.

    "In terms of people using the Internet in Australia, the per capita take-up is not dissimilar to the United States," said Bertini. "But the types of advertisers who have embraced the Web in Australia have been very different from the United States."

    He added, "Australians seem to be a lot more disposed to doing online banking, for example. They are also attracted to online brokering services and those sorts of things. So the biggest category in Australia right now is banking and finance."

    Surveys like that just completed by APT were needed in order to grow the online advertising industry.

    "We need research tools that the media buyers understand," said one industry participant. "Readership is a currency that all media buyers and planners understand, unlike server based and browser based measurement systems, which are often too complicated to comprehend and can alter the technical performance of a Web site."

    Some 3,634 respondents completed the Online Readership Survey. Highlights of the survey showed respondents were: * 54 percent males, 46 percent females * 64 percent were mainly responsible for making purchase decisions in their household * 47 percent were employed by private enterprise, 23 percent self-employed and 21 percent by government * 31 percent lived in non-metropolitan areas, 69 percent in metropolitan areas * 57 percent did not have children in their household

    Bertini said he has found that it is often the clients of advertising agencies who are much more pro-active about Web advertising than the agencies themselves.

    "There are only a handful of agencies that actually understand the Internet and understand its application," he said. "The reason for this is that when you embark on a Web strategy, it means that all of a sudden you start to think differently about the way you communicate with your customers.

    He added, "A number of agencies are now grappling with the concept of them being much more than a supplier of commercials and ads. They now have to think about their client's business process. So at the moment, Internet advertising in Australia is being driven very much at the client end."

    He said many agencies are now running fast to catch up.

    Internet Ad stories: - Taiwan's Internet Ad Market to Triple by 2000
    - Taiwan Internet Ad Market Value Estimated at US$3M in 1998

    (Neil Munro, Asia BizTech Correspondent)

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    Updated: Tue Nov 17 15:17:16 1998 PDT