Internet boosts marketing budgets

UK internet marketing spend is continuing to rise – but at its slowest rate in the last two and a half years, according to new data.

The Bellwether Report showed the budget companies set aside for online marketing rose to 19% in the first quarter of the year.

The rise was yet again a sharper spike than that posted by competing media, totaling £2bn. But it was a weaker increase than the sector has become used to of late.

In general, UK advertising looks to have turned a corner, with 54% of surveyed companies saying they had allocated 2007 marketing budgets greater than the previous year.

The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, which produces the Bellwether, said the boost could be credited to internet growth.

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell told Reuters the recovery had been “led by expansion in direct internet and interactive media”, but said online spending lagged behind when considering the number of potential online consumers.