webcentric - 7:52 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)
Trickle down effects are a reality in my estimation and many marketers probably put some serious thought into planning around this shutdown while others may not be that astute. Impulse shopping is also still a reality though and so is window shopping which is what a lot of online advertising results in anyway. During a government shutdown, more people wind up with free time on their hands and many will go window shopping online as a result. From a publisher perspective, it doesn't matter why a user clicks on an ad (i.e. to do research, to impulse shop or just to satisfy some burning curiosity), the results are the same. The old adage "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping" has a certain seed of truth in it too. People may be seeing a downturn right now but I'm seeing exactly the opposite which flies in the face of what seems like a logical conclusion at first blush. I agree that there may have been some anticipation in the marketing community prior to this event but it's also possible that the trickle down repercussions you mention will only surface over time as the ripples spread out over the pond and if the stone thrown into the pond is big enough to cause major, long-lasting ripples (i.e. long vs short shutdown). As for how this plays out for individual people, I spoke with someone today that had no knowledge whatsoever of the shutdown so they're going about their normal routine (which for all I know, includes shopping on the internet). "Ignorance is bliss" or so they say and there are a great many people in this world that insist on daily doses of bliss e.g. watching MTV rather that the evening news.
ADDED: BTW, CPC is higher both today and yesterday than I've seen in many months.