Online advertising spend in the UK is surpassing industry
estimates, according to the first official audit of the market compiled
by the management consultancy, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The report, produced in tandem with the trade body, the Internet
Advertising Bureau, reveals that advertisers spent pounds 8.1 million on
display advertising and sponsorship on the internet in 1997.
Most estimates had put the figure nearer to pounds 6 million.
For the first half of 1998, the report reveals revenues of pounds 7.9
million, suggesting the industry is well on its way to outstripping the
generally accepted estimate of pounds 15 million for the whole year. The
first half figures were 224 per cent up on the corresponding period in
The revenue was derived from five main advertising sectors, which
accounted for 80 per cent of the total. Computing led the way with a
share of 29 per cent in 1997 and 30 per cent in the first six months of
1998. It was followed by consumer (20 per cent and 15 per cent), new
media (21 per cent and 15 per cent), financial services (6 per cent and
14 per cent) and telecommunications (6 per cent and 7 per cent).
The fall in consumer advertising’s share - which is against the reported
trend - was attributed to a dip in spend by one or two significant
advertisers, including Guinness.
An elite top ten of publishers garnered 53 per cent of revenue in 1997
and 60 per cent in the first half of 1998, mirroring the consolidation
experienced in the US.
Charlie Dobres, the IAB’s general secretary, said the figures showed an
underlying trend of strong growth. ’For the first time since the advent
of internet advertising in the UK, someone turned the lights on,’ he
said. ’We now know for a fact just how fast this market is growing.’
The data used to compile the report - which will be published quarterly
- was submitted in confidence by about 85 per cent of the industry’s
media owners, identified by the IAB and PWC. The revenue of
non-participating companies was estimated.