Recruitment tops online ads as spend overtakes £500m

Recruitment advertising is now the biggest sector of the online advertising industry, with a total spend of £53.4m in the first half of 2004. That accounts for almost one-third – 29.9 per cent – of the £279.4m spent on online advertising in the UK during the period, according to the latest figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The figures also show that, for the first time, the rolling 12-month figure has broken the half a billion-pound mark, reaching £506.7m.

Recruitment advertising has not featured before in the IAB/PwC study, which began in 1997. But following an agreement with the World Advertising Research Council, which has been collating data on the recruitment industry since 2003, the IAB/PwC study now includes the WARC data.

The study shows that the search marketing segment of online advertising continues to grow, taking 40.9 per cent of the total spend in the first half of 2004. The amount spent on search marketing – £114.3m – was more than double the spend for the same period in 2003. Embedded formats – banners and skyscrapers, for example – were ahead by 31 per cent year on year to £73.3m, with classified recruitment advertising in third place with £53.4m.

IAB UK chairman Richard Eyre says: “Consistent expenditure growth on this scale reflects a change in human behaviour. Online advertising can no longer be defined as ‘new media’ – for a fast-growing number of satisfied customers, it is ‘now media’.”

The IAB has appointed branding and design consultancy Neoco to unify its brand identity. Neoco’s first task will be to develop a new family of corporate logos covering the IAB’s five key areas – marketing, research, standards, public affairs and training and development.

The consultancy will also design templates for a range of e-booklets and paper magazines focusing on topics affecting businesses advertising online and on specific client industry sectors. In addition, Neoco will create microsites and specialist online publications to teach marketers about online advertising and work on exhibition and conference design.

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