Canadian online advertising strong in '08

Exceeded radio station revenue for first time

TORONTO -- Canadian online advertising climbed to CAN$1.6 billion ($1.48 billion) in 2008, but has slowed through the recession, the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada reported Tuesday.

The industry association said online advertising last year grew 29% over the CAN$1.2 billion posted in 2007 -- which that year posted a 38% increase over 2006 actuals.

The CAN$1.6 billion revenue mark in 2008 also for the first time exceeded Canadian radio station revenue, which came to CAN$1.55 billion ($1.43 billion) last year, the IAB said.

The overall Canadian advertising market currently stands at around CAN$14 billion ($12.92 billion) in value.

The continued ascent for domestic online advertising in 2008 came before the current economic downturn, and its impact on national advertising.

The IAB estimates Canadian online advertising revenue will grow by 9.2% to $1.75 billion ($1.62 billion) in 2009.

"Even in the face of uncertain economic conditions and continued pressure on total advertising budgets, clearly, online advertising has cemented itself as a mainstay in the overall media buy," IAB president Paula Gignac said.

In 2008, search advertising was the biggest slice of the Canadian online advertising pie at CAN$602 million ($555.6 million), followed by display advertising at CAN$490 million ($452 million) and classifieds at CAN$480 million ($443 million).