Diller Bearish On ‘09 Advertising

Says Internet advertising is best positioned to thrive or at least hold steady through financial crisis
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Interactive Corp. CEO Barry Diller was less than optimistic when it comes to the advertising market this year, speaking at a Citigroup Media conference in Arizona Tuesday.

“I think anyone who would plan for a second half 2009 recovery would be a fool,” Diller said, adding that prognosticators that were unable to foresee the current crisis cannot be trusted to see when it will end.

Still, Diller thinks that Internet advertising is best positioned to--if not thrive--at least hold steady during the crunch.

“Internet advertising will certainly do better than local television advertising, and definitely print advertising,” Diller said “[It will] probably hold up better than many other sectors, and it may actually do ok in this environment.”

On the television front, Diller is bullish on the possibility of television sets gaining interactive features, saying that once the Web and television are brought together in a way that clicks with consumers, everyone will benefit.

“Television ready sets with [much more interactive] capabilities. That is the last thing that will fall,” says.