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UK online advertising spend in the UK surged 41 percent in the first half of the year, new Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) data shows (via Reuters). Bear in mind that’s the same growth the sector showed in all of 2006, when online ads those in national newspapers (on a paltry 0.2 percent growth rate). Internet advertising now constitutes 15 percent of the market, now above direct mail’s 11.8 percent. The IAB report, compiled with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Advertising Research Centre, showed how the sector had reached £1.3 billion for the first six months of this year, and forecasts online ad spend could reach £2.75 billion by the end of the year.
This is phenomenal growth, for sure, making online advertising look like the new dot.com boom, and it’s all thanks to the enhanced targetability and reliability offered by the format over other media. Online classifieds have grown 72 percent year-on-year (the fastest growth in the sector, which now makes up a fifth of online advertising), display ads are up by 33 percent and paid-for search advertising is up 44 percent. FT.com notes that much of the growth came from car makers and car classifieds.
Overall UK ad spend is up 3.1 percent to £9.1 billion, but FT says: “If the internet were excluded from overall UK advertising expenditure, the authors estimate that UK media advertising would have declined by almost two per cent during the first half of this year. Press and radio have reported declines, underlining fears that the web is winning advertisers from other media as well as attracting some new money.”