However, growth of the medium has slowed considerably against previous years. In 2000, it grew by 203 per cent to £154.7 million and by 163 per cent in 1999 to £51 million. The figures are based on revenue data from online media owners.
The IAB attributed the growth to increased audiences using the internet, improved creative standards in online advertising and a greater range of case studies that show advertisers how the medium can work.
The growth of online spend contrasts with Advertising Association figures that show a decline in television spend of 10.8 per cent during 2001 and a 4.7 per cent decline for press advertising.
Online advertising spend was hit by a bad third and fourth quarter last year, which saw spend slip back to 2000 levels. However, the IAB is predicting further growth for 2002. It also reported that growth was being fuelled by established advertisers rather than new dotcom companies.
Danny Meadows-Klue, the chairman and chief executive of the IAB, said: "We are adopting a mood of quiet confidence. Clearly 7.1 per cent is significant when the overall advertising market is down heavily. This shows that online delivers results and has proved itself."