Figures that compared 2006 with 2005 showed that the number of reported digital pitches rose from 31 in 2005 to 116 in 2006. This represents an increase of 274 per cent.
This was in contrast to the total number of advertising reviews, which fell from 319 in 2005 to 288 in 2006. Direct marketing pitches remained level over the same period (an average of 140).
Full-service media pitches also increased in 2006 by 34 per cent. This growth was boosted by the level of international activity, while the number of media planning reviews also rose to 164, compared with 122 in 2005.
Last year saw 14 UK advertising reviews valued at more than £10 million, including the Post Office, McCain, John Lewis and Yell.com. This compared with 16 in 2005, a year-on-year drop of 12.5 per cent.
Martin Jones, the director of advertising at the AAR, said: "Hopefully, these figures do reflect most agencies' perceptions of the new-business market last year.
"While this increase in digital reviews is clearly significant, some of that can be explained by the increased attention that the sector is receiving, and consequently, the number of reviews that are being reported.
"The first quarter of 2007 has seen a significant upturn in the new-business market, particularly in the advertising discipline, and we hope that this will continue throughout the remainder of the year."