Edited by Shintaro Okazaki
Chapter 14: Online Advertising: A Cross-Cultural Synthesis
Yuping Liu-Thompkins INTRODUCTION As a new media platform, the Internet has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception. In less than 20 years, it has spread from its US origin to all six major continents, claiming an estimated total of two billion users or 30 percent of the world population as of 2010 (International Telecommunication Union 2010). For developed countries, Internet penetration rates are even higher at an average of 71.6 percent (International Telecommunication Union 2010). Echoing the quick growth of the Internet, advertisers are increasingly using this medium to reach their target audiences. According to IDC, worldwide spending on online advertising is expected to reach $106.6 billion in 2011, reflecting an annual growth rate of 15 to 20 percent from 2008 (Marketing Charts 2008). The online channel is especially important in the context of international advertising. When a company posts an advertising message online, the message becomes automatically available to a worldwide audience of Internet users. Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that online advertising by definition is international advertising. This has facilitated the globalization of business and has reduced the time, cost, and effort required to reach consumers in other countries. Although the Internet is particularly suitable for international advertising, devising and implementing an effective international advertising strategy through the medium is not a simple decision. Similar to traditional advertising, companies need to answer the questions of whether to standardize or localize their messages across geographic boundaries, how to accommodate the large number of languages spoken by...
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