Online ad spend booms, could rival TV

Internet advertising could overtake that on TV by 2011, according to one industry spokesperson.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), made the prediction after the Advertising Association (AA) today released figures (pdf) showing online ad spend in the UK last year grew by almost  a half.

AA’s data showed internet ads became worth £2.01 billion last year. Echoing previously released figures, it showed how online ad spend overtook that in newspapers last year.

But, unlike IAB’s March figures, which indicated a 41.2 percent growth in 2006, the latest data pegs the online increase for last year at 47 percent.

“The time people spend online keeps going up each year, so advertisers follow their audiences online to spend money on the medium,” Phillipson told Press Association. “I believe online spend could overtake TV within the next three to four years.”

Like print, broadcast media advertising showed a downturn in 2006, the figures show.

Many expect Google, the advertising powerhouse, will now shortly overtake even ITV in terms of UK ad spend. The commercial broadcaster last week posted a drop in ad revenue.