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Audi, Volvo, AT&T Satisfied with Blog Advertising

051126_1I'm not sure I agree that major national advertisers are reaching people they may not have reached before by using blogs, but it does seem clear that the quality of the communication is there for them. Blog advertising is establishing itself as a productive channel.

NY Times: As Corporate Ad Money Flows Their Way, Bloggers Risk Their Rebel Reputation by Louise Story

Audi, for example, paid for about 70 million ads about its A3 compact model on 286 Web logs in the spring. Many of the blog ads featured links to other blogs that mentioned Audi's campaign for the A3, not to Audi's site, said Brian Clark, chief executive of GMD Studios, an experimental media firm that worked with Audi's advertising agency to create the campaign. "It was a substantial buy, and it was a really effective buy for the campaign in terms of the response," Mr. Clark said. "You find that blogs are these series of citational records of what bloggers read. People with blogs read blogs. You get a feedback cycle."

Web logs also give advertisers the chance to aim at specific readers. If you want to advertise to New York Mets fans, for example, you can easily find blogs that cater to those readers, Mr. Clark said.

Last spring, Volvo spent several million dollars to sponsor Microsoft's MSN Spaces, a site that offers free Web logs and personal pages. The blog investment was worth it, said Anna Papadopoulos, the interactive media director at Euro RSCG 4D, a division of Havas that is running Volvo's Web log campaign. Since April, about five million pages have been set up by individuals, and a million people have visited Volvo's home page directly from the blog site, she said. "These are people that we wouldn't have gotten through other marketing efforts," Ms. Papadopoulos said.

SBC Communications, which adopted the AT&T name on Monday, has found that advertisements on the blog site it started last fall, ProjectDU.com, have a higher click-through rate to its home page than its advertisements have had on other Web sites, said Michael Grasso, associate vice president for consumer marketing at AT&T.