Online ad spend in UK up by 14.4% in 2011

MUMBAI: Advertising on internet in the United Kingdom has seen a 14.4 per cent surge in 2011. Spend on the digital medium reached to approximately $8 billion last year.

According to the study from Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers‘ (PWC) report, it is the highest growth registered in the last five years.

The fast-paced growth can be attributed to the increasing access of internet and the proliferation of smartphones and tablets which allow users to access the internet on the go. Previous surveys have shown that ad money has been shifted from newspapers to online while there is stability in television.

The IAB said that on an average 39.7 million people accessed internet each month in Britain, while 27 per cent of all the time spent online was spent on social networks.

"In fairly stagnant economic times, online‘s like for like growth of 14.4 percent year on year is a really positive story. If we look at the take up of smartphones and tablets, that‘s going to be the next injection of growth with people accessing the internet on the go. So for 2012 we expect similar rates," IAB director of research and strategy Tim Elkington told Reuters.

The spending on online video ads has doubled to 109 million pounds in 2011. It has grown eight-fold since 2008. There has been increase of ad spending on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn by 75 per cent to 240 million pounds. Additionally, due to the increasing number of smartphone users, the ad spend on mobile devices (including online category) has increased by 157 per cent to 203 million pounds.

Dominated by Google, search advertising that allows consumers to directly respond to a brand and purchase their goods, grew by 17.5 per cent to 2.8 billion pounds, giving it a 58 percent share of online advertising spend, slightly higher than that in 2010.

Classified ads also grew by 5.2 per cent to 785 million pounds from 751 million pounds in 2010. Consumer and B2B (business-to-business) classifieds (property, cars, holidays and B2B), reached the half billion milestone for the first time at 509 million pounds (485 million pounds in 2010).

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