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The Internet has yet to take hold as a customer-acquisition tool for card marketers, according to Ken Patterson, director of credit advisory service at Mercator Advisory Group. Consumers use the Internet to research offers on such Web sites as creditcards.com but rarely click on banner ads. But that reluctance has not stopped most of the top 10 issuers from spending money on online ads, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Bank of America Corp., Capital One Corp., Citigroup, HSBC Holdings Plc. and Visa Inc. all increased online ad spending in the first quarter compared with the same period a year earlier. Those are the same marketers that also increased overall ad spending.

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