U.K. Internet Ad Spend Defies Slowdown

6:00 AM PST 10/05/2011 by Ralf Ludemann

Web sector grows 13.5% in H1 to $3.49 billion, overtaking TV for the first time since 2009.

LONDON - U.K. Internet ad spending defied the slowdown affecting other media in the first half of 2011, with the sector seeing a 13.5 percent year-on-year hike as brands shifted ad budgets to online video ads, according to The Guardian.

Companies spent £2.26 billion ($3.49 billion) on all forms of Internet advertising in the first six months of the year, compared with a growth rate of about 1.4 percent across traditional media such as TV, newspapers and radio, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau's (IAB) latest half-yearly update.

The report shows that the amount spent on online advertising has overtaken that spent on TV for the first time since early 2009 – when the U.K. was facing the teeth of the recession and marketers pulled large chunks of budget from traditional media – with digital accounting for 27 percent of all ad spend and TV 26 percent, the Guardian says.

"What's interesting about these figures is that the fastest-growing type of advertising on the internet is online TV advertising," said Lindsey Clay, managing director of TV marketing body Thinkbox. "It underlines how the Internet is a technology that's helping TV advertising to expand."

"FMCG advertisers were relatively late to the party but are now firmly established as the second highest-spending category," said IAB chief executive, Guy Phillipson.

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