Online ad spend close to £2bn

UK digital ad spend neared £2bn in the first half of the year as the online industry bounced back from recession, according to the IAB.

The latest figures from the bi-annual expenditure report by the IAB, PWC and WARC showed online ad spend increased 10% in H1 2010 to £1.98bn, accounting for 24.3% of all advertising.

The healthy growth rate was boosted by significant investment in pre- and post-roll video ads, which increased 82% year on year to £20.7m, reflecting the proliferation of online video ad opportunities for brands over the last year.

These include the launch of Virgin Media’s first video-on-demand player and pure-play service SeeSaw.

Search continues to dominate spend, accounting for a 60% share with a value of £1.18bn, up 8.9% year on year. Classifieds increased by 11.4% to £379m, accounting for 19% of all ad spend, followed by display, up 6.4% to £381m and also accounting for 19% of the market.

Entertainment and media advertisers accounted for 14.4% of all ad spend, followed by finance (13.3%). However, FMCG brands increased their share from 9.4% in H1 2009 to 11.8% this year, now ranking as the third highest-spending advertisers.

Guy Phillipson, CEO of the IAB, said, “The effectiveness of social and video ads for classic brand building is reflected in these formats enjoying expediential growth. Add to that the clear accountability of performance marketing online and we have a channel that now commands a quarter of total UK ad spend.”

Anna Bartz, strategy manager at PWC, said, “These figures reflect a sense of positivity in the ad industry at a time when many other media in the UK have also showed signs of a healthy recovery.”

The top 20 online display advertisers were:

  • American Express
  • Barclays
  • Boots
  • BT
  • Capital One
  • COI
  • Ebay
  • Experian
  • Sky
  • Google
  • Mazda
  • Microsoft
  • Moneysupermarket
  • The National Lottery
  • O2
  • Orange
  • P&G
  • 3
  • Unilever
  • Virgin Media

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