U.K. Internet ad spend overtakes TV

Web accounts for 23.5% of all ad money spent in the U.K.

LONDON -- Internet advertising has eclipsed television advertising in the U.K. for the first time, according to new figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers published Wednesday, which found that a record £1.75 billion ($2.8 billion) was spent online in the first half of the year.

By contrast the research found that television ad spend fell 17% over the year to £1.6 billion ($2.6 billion) in the year to the end of June.

The research that shows that Internet advertising has become the dominant advertising medium in just over a decade. In the first year of the survey, 1998, the Internet accounted only for less than £20 million ($32 million) a year.

The news is a further blow for the U.K.'s struggling broadcasters, lead by ITV, which have seen advertising revenues over the year down between 15%-25%, and will likely lead to further calls for relaxing advertising restrictions on the main channels to be dropped.

The Internet now accounts for 23.5% of all advertising money spent in the U.K., while TV ad spend accounts for 21.9% of marketing budgets.

Of the total online spend, search advertising on such sites as Google amounted to 60% of the total, while online classified advertising totaled 22% of total spend.