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UK Internet marketing spend nears £1bn in the first half of 2006

Figures published by the IAB in October 2006 show further substantial growth in the online advertising market during the first 6 months of 2006. Total spend fell just short of £1 billion during this period, which indicates that money spent on Internet advertising in the UK is set to exceed national press advertising by the end of the year.

This survey from the Internet Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Advertising Research Centre, shows that despite a depressed UK advertising market overall, the growth in internet advertising spend rose again by just over 40% compared to the same period in 2005, to a recorded level of £917.2 million (compared to £630.5 million in the first half of 2005). This increased the online market’s share of total UK advertising spend to 10.5%, compared to national press advertising which holds an 11.4% share of the market for the same period.

Within these figures, paid search advertising was the fastest growing sector with a 58% rise in spend year-on-year, to £531 million, which also recorded a 58% share of the total online advertising sector. This continues to show the increasing popularity of this sector as advertisers realize the importance of this medium as a measurable direct response tool, as well as a way to develop an effective online presence for their brands.

Online advertising (such as banner adverts) saw a growth of 33% to £216 million during the period (23% share of the total online spend) and online classifieds grew by 23% to achieve an 18% share of this sector and a spend of £162m. The only sector of online advertising that declined were ‘interruptive formats’ (such as pop-up adverts) as spend on these fell by 9% to £7 million.

These figures are therefore further confirmation of the popularity of online advertising as a substantial and effective part of the marketing mix for many companies now, and that search marketing in particular is the sector that continues to attract a high level of spend, making it an increasingly competitive market in many business sectors.

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