DoubleClick Slashes Over 100 Jobs

Just two weeksafter announcing changes in its executive team,controversial Web advertising giant DoubleClick(Nasdaq: DCLK) is laying off some 5 percent of its 2,100-person workforce.

DoubleClick director of corporate communications Jennifer Blum would notconfirm the number of employees being let go, but the figure issaid to range between 100 and 150.

“Recently we announced that we were aligning our executive team to meet theneeds of our global clients,” the company said. “Todaywe have made further changes to the organization to better align under thoseleaders.”

According to the company, the layoffs are “are not dramaticrelative to the scale of DoubleClick” and leave the employee base “virtually flat” over the course of the second half of the year.

Slow Market

The online advertising market has been hit particularly hard in recentmonths, as many Web companies andretailers have slashed their ad spending budgets in recent months.

Several industry analysts have forecasted a dramatic slowdown for Internet ad spending, which had experienced explosive growth over the past several years.

In a reflection of that decrease, on Friday S.G. Cowen reportedly lowered revenue estimates for DoubleClickand portal giant Yahoo!, which depend on online ads for their revenuestream.

Shares in DoubleClick are currently hovering around the US$12 mark, aprecipitous decline from January’s stock value of approximately $135.

Likely Survivor

Despite the turbulence,DoubleClick is expected by many observers to be leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors.

In October, the company reported revenue of $135.2 million for thethird quarter of 2000, an increase of 79 percent over the same period lastyear.

The firm also reported that it ended the third quarter with $894 million incash and marketable securities, a $12 million increase over the second quarter. The company attributed the increase to $34 million provided by operations.

Signs of Hope

Despite the currently sluggish market for Internet ads, analysts believe that the Net will evolveinto a viable medium for advertisers and marketers alike to build brands andtarget consumers more effectively than other media channels.

For instance, a recent study from the Internet Advertising Bureau andPricewaterhouseCoopers found that the Internet advertising industry saw$2.1 billion in revenue in the second quarter, with sales for the first half of the year approaching the total for all of last year.

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