Want 5,000 More Facebook Friends? That’ll Be $654.30

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- If you're a Gmail user who also happens to use Twitter, it's probably been about five minutes since you've seen an ad promising to boost your follower count. The folks at online ad firm uSocial are taking that a step further: Pay them money and they'll make you at least appear to be very big on Facebook. In fact, they'll deliver you 5,000 Facebook "friends" for 7.6 cents per friend ($654.30), or up to 10,000 Facebook "fans" for a mere 8.5 cents a fan ($1.167.30).

The Song Remains the Same at Ad:Tech Chicago

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Traditional media and agency models are in chaos, social media is ascendant and digital media is in dire need of metrics to help it better demonstrate its value, attendees at the annual Ad:Tech Chicago conference were repeatedly told this week.

Internet Ad Spending Declined in First Half of ’09

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Surprise: The first half of 2009 was rougher on media than anticipated. How rough? Measured ad spending fell 15.4% compared with the first two quarters of 2008, according to a new report issued by Nielsen, meaning U.S. ad spending was down a whopping $10.3 billion to a total of $56.9 billion. That's enough to make full-year forecasts for 2009 from last December calling for a 0.2% decline seem quaint.

Why Social Media Isn’t Living Up to the Hype (Yet)

What if social media and its inherent benefits are so revolutionary, so potentially game-changing that it takes time for people to figure out how to best use them? More fundamentally, what if organizational silos and constraints limit its potential to address a new brand-building equation?

Google Makes Grab for Hollywood Dollars

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The entertainment industry does relatively little search advertising, but Google is hoping to change that by sprucing up plain-text search ads with video. It has been offering what it calls a "video plus box" link below the standard keyword ad to a select group of entertainment advertisers including Miramax, Electronic Arts, Discovery and Travel Channel.