Document Type



From the late 1990s up to the collapse of Internet stocks in April 2000, the professional and popular marketing press carried a stream of articles that were enthusiastic about the potential of Internet marketing for all the components of marketing; selling products and services, building brands and relationships and providing individualised information to customers. With the benefit of hindsight, and in view of the many well-publicised losses of Internet based companies, much of this enthusiasm was unjustified. This paper analyses the pattern of growing interest in, and changing assessment of, Internet marketing from both marketing and professional writers, as revealed by a retrospective study of one of the most common data bases. Academic interest in the Internet, as measured by growth in the number of articles, is seen to have lagged behind professional interest. Of more concern, however, is the apparent failure of marketing academics to have given advice which might have tempered managers’ investment in what proved, for many, to be a very risky area.