Archive > March 2014

Weakened by Mobile, Desktop Search Advertising Is Declining

admin » 25 March 2014 » In Internet, Tech News » No Comments

In the latest example of mobile phones’ upending of the tech industry, desktop search advertising, perhaps the most lucrative online business, is shrinking.

Advertisers are following consumers to mobile phones, so mobile search advertising is climbing as desktop search advertising shrinks. Yet advertisers are still paying about a third of the price for mobile ads that they do for desktop ads, so the decline in desktop ad spending is a financial risk for search companies including Google, far and away the leader in search.

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Over all, desktop search ad spending will drop $1.4 billion this year, a decrease of 9.4 percent from last year, according to estimates from eMarketer. (It fell last year for the first time, but only 0.8 percent.) Mobile search ad spending, meanwhile, will more than make up the difference, increasing $4.07 billion, or 82.3 percent.

Google has taken pains to describe mobile search as additional search activity that is not poaching time from desktop search. Mobile searches spike, it says, during the lunch hour and evenings, when people are likely to be away from their desks.

Yet the numbers tell a different story — as anyone who has searched on a phone while a laptop sits inches away can attest. Either desktop search is losing popularity to mobile search, or advertisers believe it is.

At Google, desktop search ad revenue will decrease $770 million this year, while mobile search ad revenue will increase $1.76 billion, eMarketer said.

The gap has closed in an astonishingly short time, even for the fast-moving technology industry. This year, mobile search revenue at Google — which has 95 percent market share in mobile search, according to StatCounter — is on track to account for about one-third of Google’s total search revenue. That would have been unthinkable only a couple of years ago, when Google’s business was under threat from mobile.

Since then, the company has tried to rethink mobile advertising. For instance, Google combined its desktop and mobile ad departments into one and now sells the two types of ads as a single package to advertisers. It also introduced new tools for advertisers to begin to solve the problem of tracking the effectiveness of mobile advertising. One tracks consumers across devices and tells marketers whether a consumer makes a purchase on a computer after researching an item on a phone.

“The fundamental tenet is not to speak about mobile, mobile, mobile,” Nikesh Arora, Google’s chief business officer, said on a conference call with analysts in January.

“People aren’t distinguishing what they’re doing on different screens, so advertisers should be more agnostic about where they reach the user,” he said.

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Montana reaches $5.9M settlement in pharmaceutical case

admin » 12 March 2014 » In Legal News, Mass Tort » No Comments

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Thursday that a $5.9 settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against a large pharmaceutical company, and money will be used to pay for a new prescription drug abuse prevention program, mental health services and ongoing consumer protection services.

The Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit in 2008 against Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The lawsuit alleged the company employed illegal, unfair and deceptive practices in the marketing of Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug used to treat certain psychological disorders in adults.

The lawsuit alleged Janssen deceived Montana physicians and consumers when it promoted Risperdal as safe and effective for a variety of conditions, but was aware that research showed dangers associated with its use and hid that research from the public.

Janssen’s own studies of Risperdal demonstrated it had the potential to cause weight gain and diabetes, cerebrovascular complications in the elderly, as well as other severe adverse side effects.

Janssen agreed to settle the lawsuit for $5.9 million last month. The settlement also restricts Janssen from making misleading claims in the promotion of its drugs, and present information about the benefits and risks of its product in promotional materials.

Janssen did not admit wrongdoing through the settlement.

Fox said about $1.5 million of the settlement will be used to bolster the state’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Program. A public education specialist will be hired to create a student education program, look for ways to expand prescription drug drop box locations across the state, and create a public awareness campaign about the dangers of prescription drug addiction.

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