Is the online economy recession-proof?

Internet ad spending in the US is not growing as quickly as expected, although it’s still performing ahead of other advertising sectors. eMarketer plans to cut its growth forecast for 2008, currently 23%, by a few percentage points.

According to Bloomberg: “The New York-based research firm had predicted almost $26 billion in ad sales this year. (eMarketer analyst David) Hallerman said his estimate for 16% growth in 2009 is ‘also probably too high.”’

“‘Advertising is the canary in the coal mine in a weaker economy,’ Hallerman said. ‘All the bears aren’t out of the woods yet when it comes to the economy.'” [Hello, can we throw in any more analogies from the animal kingdom there? Did I hear someone say TV is the 900-pound gorilla of advertising? Are the vultures circling the industry? Is the future of advertising a bit of a dog’s breakfast? But I digress…]

In a sure sign of the accuracy of eMarketer’s changed prediction, Google is reporting it won’t hit its original revenue targets…