Internet can be a good medium for certain verticals and their products, aimed at ‘new age customers', said Yahoo! India Managing Director Arun Thadanki.

“Corporates, even those making consumer goods have so far limited their ad spend on the Net but the situation may be fast changing. Last year, advertisers spent Rs. 7,000 crore on other media such as print and television; the internet's share was Rs. 600 crore at the most. Regular internet users in the 25-plus age category are close to 2.2 crore and they cannot be ignored,” he told The Hindu after speaking at the CII Brand Summit 2010.

Among the reasons which favoured the Net was that advertisers could reach specific target groups like cricket fans or those interested in personal care products or those who are fitness conscious, through links.

“Yahoo! India with an estimated user share of 74 per cent and other similar portals have seen a steady 35 per cent growth in advertising in the past few years.

Though ad spend on this medium may be just around 5 per cent of the total budget for many, the sheer number of net browsers in India, an estimated 50 million, present great opportunities,” Mr. Thadanki said.

The Net's advantages were already recognised by some sectors. Banks advertised and provided online links to various services and so did some insurance providers. Car makers used this medium to show all variants made with graphics that could provide 360 degrees rotating views of a vehicle besides specifications that could be browsed at more leisure than on TV.

The growth in net advertising would depend on government policies like 3G phones, more phones with net access and wi-max facilities on a larger scale, he felt. Already, around 12 crore mobile phones in use could be Net-ready.

Asked about the privacy factor and safety in online shopping, he said “We comply with both local regulations and international standards to avoid risks to our users.”

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