Carat chief: digital media spend on course to soar

Marketing spend on digital media is set to increase by a third next year as advertisers make use of the growing number of digital channels available, predicts media agency Carat.

Ben Wood, joint managing director of Carat’s digital arm, says he expects the department to grow by at least 50 per cent next year and the industry as a whole to be up by 30 per cent on 2005. Wood’s department billed an estimated &£25m this year.

Wood joined Carat from Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy in the autumn. He predicts growth will come mainly from outside the online arena.

He says: “There is a digital explosion, but it is not necessarily being driven by increased online advertising. It isn’t about a new channel to market, it’s a totally new way of advertising through the many different channels within digital.”

He points to channels such as product placement in video games, interactive television, online search affiliates and e-mail marketing as growing areas. He adds that clients are increasingly looking at digital advertising as an integrated part of their communications rather than as a bolt-on extra.

There has been a significant growth in digital advertising over the past year and brands including Orange, BT, Lloyds TSB, BSkyB, Camelot and Abbey have held high-profile digital media reviews.

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