From the Wall Street Journal (subscription required):

On the Web, Signs of a Click Recession
Google Feels Pinch As Ad Growth Slows; Sweeter Deal for Yahoo?
February 27, 2008

Internet advertising may be showing itself more vulnerable to a consumer slowdown than many in the industry had hoped, according to new search-ad data released this week.

The report from research firm comScore Inc. showing a decline in the number of consumer clicks on Google Inc. search ads in January amplified existing concerns about the effect of a broader economic slowdown on the Internet. Many online-ad experts have played down such worries, predicting any economic weakening will be offset by a continued shift in ad spending from traditional media to the Internet. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said the company hadn’t seen any impact from macroeconomic softening when the Internet company reported earnings Jan. 31. But some investors and analysts have grown anxious in recent months that any pullbacks in consumer spending would hurt online ads.