Every month, Internet research firm Nielsen/Net Ratings tracks the leading Internet advertisers by estimated expenditures in that medium.
In just about every one of the last 18 months, Vonage has ranked at or very near the top for Internet advertising. Also, in each of these months, Vonage has led all communications companies in this compilation.
But when the July figures came out yesterday, something interesting caught my eye- Vonage had slipped down to eighth, with a projected $12,683,820 in Internet ads. That compares to $37,462,700 in Internet ad expenditures that Vonage spent in June. In other words, Vonage spent only about one-third the money on Internet ads in July as in June.
Let's look at the June ad outlays as reported by Nielsen/NetRatings:
What's more, Vonage rival Skype (Vonage doesn't regard Skype as a direct competitor but oh, how wrong they are) made their highest-ever appearance in the top ten with $15,534,388 spent. In doing so, Skype ranked fifth in July, up from seventh in June. (U.K.-based ecommerce site GUSplc is first).
Vonage's slide in Internet advertising rankings could mean any combination of several things:
1. A greater concentration on television ads. I don't have those ad expenditures handy, but I wouldn't be surprised;
2. More money spent on outdoor-oriented promotions, such as co-sponsorship of two auto racing teams, track and field events, and even a thoroughbred horse race;
3. Less Internet advertising because of the somewhat accurate perception that as a general rule, Internet page views are down in the summer months due to longer days and summer vacations when users are away from their PCs;
4. An ad cutback driven by financial losses, and a fear that wild spending would draw the wrath of investors and analysts.
Interesting, though, that Skype's advertising outlays are climbing in rank while Vonage's are (at least temporarily) declining. Has to be a big push by eBay at play here.