Beating recession with the IAB: Easy peasy, innit?

Is it my imagination, or has the number of sponsored supplements in Media Guardian increased since the “demise(TM Roy Greenslade) of Press Gazette?

Oh well: I suppose that these things are a fact of journalistic life — a bit like moral hazard in the banking profession.

The latest one is an 8-page sponsored effort underwritten by the Internet Advertising Bureau — the trade body that represents Britain’s digital ad agencies and keeps us in a state of perpetual admiration for the sector’s soaraway growth rate.

I perked up a bit when I saw the title, though: “Internet advertising: How a medium aims to beat recession”.

Talk about making promises you can keep. . . For anyone who wasn’t around last time (2001-2002), the time before that (1991-1992) or the time before that (1981-1983), let’s be crystal clear about this: NO-ONE GOES AROUND “BEATING” RECESSIONS.

Anyway: according to (mmm: whom exactly? The IAB? The Guardian?), this time around, the web really will beat recession by . . doing exactly the same as it’s done hereuntofore.

There’s even a headline on page 2 that runs: “Reasons to be cheerful”.

Yeah, right.

A few extracts for you:

“The big question for brand owners today is how to move beyond direct response to building brand recall, purchase intent and brand awareness through search,” says Andy Mihalop, search director of digital agency i-level

Rubbish. The big question facing brand owners today is (a) how to hang on to their job and (b) how to get people to buy more stuff. Search as brand-building? Perhaps we can return to that conversation — reluctantly — in 2011.

“Online video advertising is coming of age. Whereas this time last year the jury was still out, in the final quarter of 2008, industry experts now see online video as a key component for digital campaigns.”

Coming of age? Key component? Not really. Not until we’ve all got fibre-to-the-home and can watch You Tube on our 50″ plasma screens. Meanwhile, Mediacom is forecasting that the going rate for online video advertising will fall by 20% next year. (At least, that’s what it says in an accompanying article by The Guardian’s Mark Sweney. . .)

“The recession is kind of irrelevant because there is going to be a flip — and the recession is going to accelerate that — where digital is going to become more important.” — Daniele Fiandaca, chief executive, Profero Europe.

Translation: Bollocks to you lot. My little digital empire will be fine. In the long term.

The ultimate irony is the fact that Media Guardian’s supplement appears to have been a print-only exercise. (Go on then — you search for it: try “daniele fiandaca” for starters).

Danny Meadows-Klue would have been horrified.

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