Four big mortgage lenders cut their online ad spending from December to January, according to Nielsen Online. Four financial firms were among the top 10 online display advertisers in December, but in January, three of them — LowRateSource, HSBC Holdings and LendingTree.com — fell out of the rankings, and the other cut spending by nearly two-thirds.
We’ve heard anecdotal evidence of financial services/mortage advertising under pressure at a couple of large Web sites, and we’ve been exepecting a decline to show up since last summer. So we wouldn’t be surprised to see the penny finally dropping.
That said, two caveats: We’ve noticed that Nielsen’s ad-spending reports tend to fluctuate quite a bit from month-to-month, so we’d be wary of making too much about a one-time drop. More important is that the reports only include display advertising, so at best they’re directional.
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