Microsoft ups ad spend on Net to 28m

Microsoft will boost its spend on Internet advertising by up to 70 per cent over the next year.

Last year, the computer software giant was the world’s largest Internet advertiser, spending $24.2m (15.2m). Swayed by the measurement capabilities of the medium, and higher than expected take-up from existing advertising, it now says it will spend up to $41.1m (27.7m) in the next year on product advertising on the Web.

By the beginning of the next decade, it says its Internet ad spend could be even higher than its TV budget. It anticipates an explosion in home and office Internet use.

The change is being driven by Microsoft’s chief operating officer Robert Herbold, a former vice-president of information services and advertising at Procter & Gamble.

Herbold says the Internet, which received $350m (219m) of ad support globally last year, is “a marketer’s dream” because of its rapid measurability and response rates. Studies in the US put estimated online spend at over $600m (375m) in the next year.

“If I put my old P&G hat on, promotions are basically a waste of money. If you look at the productivity, you are often very disappointed. But now, to see these kinds of measures behind a promotion, and to see one that is so effective, is very exciting,” says Herbold.

TV ads, through Wieden & Ken-nedy, will continue to push the Microsoft brand, while Web advertising will be product-specific, he adds. Last year’s global TV budget of $100m (62.5m) should rise by seven per cent, as should last year’s $140m (87.5m) global print budget.

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