Online advertising overtakes TV sales for first time in UK

      For the first time the advertising market has experienced a significant shift this year, as companies are spending more money on the Internet than on television for advertising. Spending on Internet advertising grew 4.6 per cent in the first half of 2009 to hit 1.7 billion pounds, according to digital marketing trade body Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). Advertising on television amounted to 1.6 billion pounds, down from 1.9 billion pounds year on year, The Independent reports. "The internet has now overtaken television advertising to become the UK 's single biggest advertising medium," the IAB said, adding it now accounts for 23.5 per cent of the total market. Industry experts pointed to more time spent online, faster broadband speeds and more sophisticated online techniques as reasons for the shift. "The results signal a significant restructure of marketing budgets as advertisers follow their audiences online and look to the Internet for even more measurable and accountable methods," the IAB said. Spending on Internet advertising in the UK hit 3.3 billion pounds in 2008, up 17 per cent year on year, while total advertising spending fell 3.5 per cent to 17.5 billion pounds. Stefan Bardega, director of digital at Mediacom, who specialises in media buying on the Internet, said: "Online has surpassed television earlier than we expected." Display advertising was not so successful, falling 5.2 per cent year-on-year to 316.5 million pounds. The IAB pointed out this was not as bad as display advertising in mainstream media, which saw double-digit declines.

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