Wednesday, 30 September 2009

UK is first economy to spend more on online than TV advertising

The Guardian report here that the UK has become the first major economy where advertisers spend more on internet advertising than on television advertising, with a record £1.75bn online spend in the first six months of the year. The Guardian go onto describe that the IAB's figures show that of the total of £1.75bn spent on internet advertising, £1.05bn, or 60%, was spent on search advertising on websites including Google, up 6.8% year on year. Online classified advertising grew by 10.6% year on year to £385m, about 22% of total internet ad spend. But online display advertising, such as banners on websites, fell by 5.2% year on year, to £316.5m. This was an 18% share of all internet ad spend. The ray of light within the online display ad sector was the nascent, but rapidly growing, online video advertising sector. The IAB estimated that this sector grew by close to 300% year on year, to almost £12m.

In some ways I feel a certain amount of vindication. When I started my PhD that addressed interactivity, creativity and opt-in/opt-out debates six years ago, online advertising was still very much in its infancy. Although it had been around since the early 90s, the prevailing attitude (amongst advertising and media academics as well as lay folk) was that it was all about pop-ups and banners. Truly the industry has developed. However, although it has grown up, in many ways it is in its teenage years and there are significant life choices to made that will determine its outcome, particularly in relation to behavioural advertising and the potential monetising of users' communication streams through ISP gateways. Interesting times ahead, for sure.

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I am director of the Media and Persuasive Communication (MPC) network at Bangor University where I also lecture on political-economy of the media. I am currently working on a book provisionally titled Deconstructing Privacy for Peter Lang and leading two empirical projects in connection with privacy perception and the use of new media for smoking cessation. I am author of Creativity and Advertising: Affect, Events and Process (Routledge, 2013); The Mood of Information: A Critique of Behavioural Advertising (Continuum, 2011); and Digital Advertising (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2009). Please contact me at if you are interested in Ph.D supervision or consultancy services.