New Types of Internet Ads, Basics of Social Networks and Problems with Marketing Affiliates and State Sales Taxes

Highlighted Marketing Stories:

Web Ads Get More Intrusive (BrandWeek) – If you think Internet ads are already too annoying then just wait to see what is coming down the road.  As this story reports, a down economy will lead some websites to find other ways to get visitors’ attention even if it means interrupting their visit to the site.

A group of top-tier publishers, including The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, has signed up to test a new initiative that plops commercials in front of users as they arrive at Web sites, blocking the content.

Will this increase the likelihood that visitors will simply click the “back button” more frequently thus leaving the site or will they just accept the ad?

The Big Four (Internet Retailer) – For anyone who does not know much about social networking sites, this story offers a good summary.

A few years ago, social networking was a novelty. Today it’s part of the fabric of most Internet users’ lives. In fact, earlier this year, social networking surpassed e-mail in the amount of time spent online on a monthly basis, a Forrester Research Inc. study found.

At some point there will be a shake out of this industry.  Which sites are likely to survive, which will fail?

Fight Over Affiliates (Internet Retailer) – Affiliate marketing has been important part of the marketing strategy for websites such as Amazon and Overstock.  However, in the US these sites are now facing challenges from state governments who want a piece (tax revenue) of the action including taxing affiliates who the states say owe sales tax. Some of the websites have responded by dropping affiliates in these states.

The states that have such sales tax laws on the books—New York, Rhode Island and North Carolina—require Internet retailers to collect sales tax from all in-state customers if they also accept referrals from in-state affiliates that promote their products.

Where is this battle heading?