Online Ad Spending Reaching New Heights in UK

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A new study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Advertising Research Centre, and released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau UK, indicates substantial growth in all areas of interactive advertising in the U.K. The biannual survey of 78 companies reveals total 2005 online ad spending in the U.K. to be up 66 percent, reaching £1.4 billion ($2.4 billion).

As expected, spending on search advertising led the numbers with 79 percent total growth, reaching £768 million ($1.3 billion). Classified ads followed closely behind, with 62 percent growth, hitting £262 million ($457 million). Online display ad spending grew 44 percent to reach £335 million ($584 million).

Paul Freeman-Sanderson, senior planning executive with the IAB UK, suggested that the major difference between U.K. and U.S. advertisers was a greater willingness on the part of major brands in the States to move offline budgets to the web. He attributed this partly to a lack of cross-media studies in the U.K. of the type which have proliferated and influenced large budget shifts toward the online market here in the U.S.

The study also showed online ad spending to on par with or surpassing other channels in the U.K. While online beat out outdoor and magazine ad spend narrowly, it doubled radio spending and remained three quarters of spending posted by newspapers.

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