Online ads defy slowing global economy

Market expected to grow by 23% this year to $43.3 bil

BRUSSELS -- Defying a slowing global economy, the online advertising market is expected to grow by 23% this year to $43.3 billion, according to the Berlin-based European Information Technology Observatory.

Despite the damage inflicted by the financial crisis, turnover with advertisement banners, sponsored links and other online advertising format will grow 13% to $18.6 billion in the U.S., still by far the largest market in the world.

Although the Internet economy in Europe is growing from a smaller base, it is developing fast and is forecast to grow 31% in 2008 to $12.4 billion. The next biggest market, Japan, will surge 15% to $4.5 billion, while China will leap forward 46% to $1.6 billion.

The 2008 forecasts come on top of a 26% jump in 2007 to $35 billion, and before that, a 33% rise in 2006 to $27.8 billion.

The figures showed that the Internet had established itself as an advertising medium and is increasing in importance compared to classic TV, radio and print advertising, EITO chairman Bruno Lamborghini said. He pointed to forecasts for television advertising for 2008 -- up only 8% to $189.6 billion -- that offered far more modest growth.