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Century 21 bids adieu to TV ads

Real estate ad dollars continue migration to online

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Century 21 Real Estate will stop running national television spots in order to beef up online advertising such as display ads, search-engine marketing, and partnerships with real estate listing sites.The company is confident the move will benefit brokers, agents and their clients, saying it boosted online lead generation by more than 237 percent in 2008 -- the cost per lead dropped 62 percent from a year ago. In the 1970s, Century 21 was the first real estate franchiser to purchase national TV ads, said Tom Kunz, the company's president and chief executive officer. But Kunz said the main benefit of television ads is name recognition -- something Century 21 has in spades. "We have between 97 and 99 percent name recognition, and nobody can get to 100," Kunz said. The company's analysis of the return on investment from online ads, however, revealed some "dramatic numbers that backed up our feeling that we should monitor name recognition, but put our money where consumers ar...