UK advertisers spend record online in 2002

UK advertisers spent a record £196.7 million online last year - an increase of 19 per cent over 2001 - according to figures published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Significantly, more than half of the internet advertising spend in 2002 was made by traditional offline companies. Previously, online advertising had been dominated by technology companies and digital businesses.

The financial services sector doubled its spend, with high- street retailers, FMCGs and the car sector also making significant gains.

"The resurgence of traditional brands is a big driver of growth. The sort of ad budgets that are now being spent show that online has become part of a long-term ad strategy - the market has gone beyond one-offs and test budgets," Danny Meadows-Klue, the chief executive of the IAB UK, said.

Online's market share increased to 1.4 per cent of total media spend, up from 1.2 per cent in 2001. The rise is on track with the IAB's goal of increasing online to 2 per cent of UK adspend by autumn 2004.

In the final quarter of last year, online market share peaked at 1.7 per cent, with levels greater than those at the height of the dotcom boom.

Figures for the second half of 2002 indicate that significant growth can be expected for this year. Compared year on year, the spend in the last six months of 2002 was £114.9 million, up 52 per cent on the £75.5 million in 2001.

"The industry had a rough time in 2000 and early 2001, and we feel the research shows the internet is back on track," Meadows-Klue added. "The figures reflect the way media planners are upweighting the importance of the internet in the overall marketing mix."

The research is based on the recorded revenues reported by the finance departments of online media owners.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).