Internet marketing agency DoubleClick yesterday announced plans to restructure its web advertising sales group in the US, laying off around 200 staff.

The move, which follows the company’s withdrawal from the Australian market [WAMN: 19-Mar-01] and coincides with an anticipated cull of staff in Europe, is further evidence of softening online marketing demand among advertisers.

The restructure is also designed to provide US advertisers with more choice over the way their messages are spread over the web. DoubleClick has traditionally offered ad space across a network of different sites. However, some analysts feared that, by spreading messages widely over the web, the firm was attaching too much weight on less-visited sites.

DoubleClick’s new strategy is to offer two different types of network on which clients can advertise: its “audience network” will continue to reach a large number of different sites, while its “brand network” will focus on a smaller number of well-known web locations.

News source: Financial Times