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permission, hackers, and credit card theft are a number of problems confronting the Internet.

5. Privacy. Like their direct-marketing counterparts, Internet marketers must be careful not to impinge upon the privacy of users. The IAB has issued a policy on privacy that it asks companies to abide by (see www.iab.net).

6. Limited production quality. Although it is improving, net advertising does not offer the capabilities of many competitive media from a production standpoint. While the advent of advanced technologies and rich media is narrowing the gap, the Net still lags behind some traditional media in this area.

7. Poor reach. While the Internet numbers are growing in leaps and bounds, its reach is still far behind that of television. As a result, as discussed earlier, Internet companies have turned to traditional media to achieve reach and awareness goals. In addition, statistics show that only a small percentage of sites on the Internet are captured by search engines and that the top 50 sites listed account for 95 percent of the sites visited.27

8. Irritation. Numerous studies have reported on the irritating aspects of some Web tactics. These studies have shown consumers' discontent with clutter,28 e-mail SPAM,29 and pop-ups and pop-unders.30 These irritating aspects will deter visitors from coming to the sites.31 Ethical Perspective 15-2 expands on this issue.

Overall, the Internet offers marketers some very definite advantages over traditional media. At the same time, disadvantages and limitations render this medium as less than a one-stop solution. However, as part of an IMC program, the Internet is a very valuable tool.

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