Online advertising for consumer-credit services increased 93% so far this year, from 8 billion ad impressions in the first quarter to 15.4 billion in the third quarter. According Jupiter Media Metrix, consumer-credit services has become the largest segment for online advertising within the financial services industry, one of the three industries that advertises the most online.
“It’s understandable that the significant growth of online advertising for credit services coincides with a softening economy and the approach of the holiday shopping season,” said Charles Buchwalter, VP of media research at JMM. “It is interesting to note that credit-card companies are working to increase their customer base and encourage more spending, while credit-counseling services are simultaneously seeking to reach people trying to get out of debt.”
• Credit card companies were responsible for 79% of online advertising this year in the consumer-credit segment: Visa 59%; MasterCard 15%; Discover/Novus 3% and American Express 2%.
The remaining 21% was conducted by various credit counseling and reporting companies: Neway 8%; ConsumerInfo.com 6%; and PrivacyGuard 2%.
• Consumer-credit services had the highest number of ad impressions per advertiser for each week this year among all financial-services segments. The average consumer-credit advertiser had 75.9 million impressions in the first quarter of this year and 146.7 million in the third quarter.
• The consumer-credit segment had a period of sharp increases in online advertising beginning in the third quarter and continuing through recent weeks. Ad impressions increased 75% between the weeks of July 30 and October 15, from 14.4 million to 25.2 million.
• Providian Financial’s Getsmart.com was the leading consumer-credit advertiser and also the leading financial services advertiser overall in the third quarter of 2001 with 5.6 billion impressions. Providian had 2.2 billion impressions on Yahoo!, 512 million on iWon and 272.8 million on MSN.
According to Media Metrix audience-ratings data, traffic to Getsmart.com increased 386%, from 1.1 million unique visitors in January to 5.2 million in September. Following Providian Financial was Citigroup with 2.0 billion impressions and Datek with 1.9 billion impressions.
• The top three host sites for consumer-credit ads in 3Q 2001 were: Yahoo! 5.7 billion impressions; iWon 1.2 billion; and Netscape 532 million. The top three sites for financial services ads overall in 3Q 2000 were: Yahoo! 8.7 billion; MSN 5.0 billion; and iWon 2.1 billion.