Online and rally may sidestep newspapers

It was a good day for newspaper Websites when Mercedes-Benz USA introduced its updated E-Class cars this summer. Mercedes bought out the ad space on the home pages of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and had those sites create special 3-D ads for them, at an estimated cost of $100,000 a site.

The days after were not as good. While Mercedes was happy with the newspaper sites’ performance, it shifted money to cheaper, more tightly aimed ads bought through networks, which include bundle ad space from many websites. When Mercedes advertises its more basic models next year, it will largely avoid newspaper Websites and rely on networks. That lets Mercedes “be very targeted and efficient with our dollars,” said BethLange, digital media specialist for Mercedes-Benz USA.

But that also explains why newspaper sites are not holding on to ad dollars, even while overall Internet advertising is creeping back. Newspaper sites are the patent-leather stilettos of the online world; they get used for special occasions, but other shoes get much more daily wear. The beneficiaries of this behavior are networks and exchanges like AOL and DoubleClick Ad Exchange from Google, which dominate the buying and selling of extra space. At non-newspaper sites like Yahoo and Google, revenue from display advertising – the image-based ads on Web pages – seems to be turning. Yahoo’s display revenue on its Web sites increased 2 per cent in the third quarter, though it was down from a year earlier.  However, display revenue increased at Google from a year earlier.

Overall, the Internet is the only advertising medium expected to grow this year in the United States, rising 9.2 per cent to $54.1 billion, according to figures released this month by Zenith Optimedia, a media service firm. Newspaper sites cannot seem to catch that wave.

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Button to get £5 mn salary hike: reports

Finally, it seems like Jenson Button has got what he wanted – a pay rise after sealing his first drivers’ title at the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend. With Brawn GP having no intention of parting ways with Button, it is believed that they have agreed to a £5 million pay rise for the champ. The contract negotiations will be sorted out before next month, reported The Times. And with Ross Brawn stating that Button is not going anywhere the rumour mills have been doused for the long time being.

The Briton has been linked to couple of top teams since securing his first world title. One of the rumours that made the rounds was of a British ‘Super Team’, featuring Button and Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, which was a possibility till the reports of Button getting a hike emerged. According to the reports, Button had taken a £5 million pay cut – to £3 million a year – to race for Brawn this season after former team Honda pulled out in December. He even paid for most of his flights and hotel bills en route to the top of the drivers’ championship.

When asked if he was 100 per cent sure that Button will stay, Brawn said: “You are never 100 per cent but I would say 99 per cent. Jenson’s obviously a great driver, so he has got to be a target. We want Jenson to stay in the team and I think we will find a solution.” Jenson had a contract with us. But that contract is not the salary of a world champion, not the salary of a team that is in much stronger position than it was 10 months ago. We are working with Jenson to find a balance between what we can afford and what he feels is fair for his status,” The Sun quoted Brawn, as saying.

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