November saw much activity in the field of search and internet marketing in the news, with analysts reporting that a large portion of advertising moving online with publishers keen to address falling revenues.

A number of members of the US publishing industry entered talks to develop a national online advertising network with Cox Newspapers, Hearst, and MediaNews Group thought to be involved.

Facebook’s long-awaited new advertising platform was unveiled by Mark Zuckerberg at an event in New York however the company’s Beacon feature attracted much controversy from a number of groups not least from civil rights lobbyists MoveOn.org who claimed that the application violated privacy rights.

Commenting on the social networking site’s plans, Danny Sullivan said there was nothing particularly groundbreaking about the new features and that in the long-term search marketing would prove more effective.

It also emerged that such targeted marketing could come under scrutiny from the European Union privacy concerns with regulators worried about how consumer data is being used by the industry.

However, on the whole there were more reports of growth in the industry with a new report from eMarketer stating that online advertising in the US was set to exceed $21 billion (£10 billion) in 2007 and that overall marketing spending by companies had grown by 2.1 per cent.

IBM also predicted that there would be a "significant" shift towards online ads in line with the ever changing face of advertising and its current affection for the internet.

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