- Corporation -- The first comprehensive trend report of US ad spending on the Internet reveals that although a big part of web advertising is still in the computer and software sector, there has been significant growth in other areas such as travel, retail and education.
The survey, the Trends in Internet Advertising study, showed increases in travel (up 181%) retail (up 290%) and colleges and universities (up 821%), while some which advertised hardly at all in 1996 registered startling gains. Prescription medications, for example, rose 3,260% and skin care, creams, lotions and oils 4,915%, both from a very small base.
The study, derived from the monthly InterWatch ad expenditure reports from InterMedia, says that although the Internet currently represents an estimated 0.74% of overall ad budgets, that percentage is growing. In computers and computer software, for example, the proportion has already reached 11.68%, financial 1.25%, telecommunications 1.25% and surprisingly, schools, camps and seminars 1.16%.
There was no change in the top spenders in 1997 with Microsoft and IBM topping the table. Microsoft spent $30.89 million, up 137% over 1996 while in the number two spot IBM spent $18 million, up 207%.
Significant gains in the top 25 were registered by the number nine ranked General Motors (up 390% at $5.8 million), no. 12 ranked Ford (up 315% to $4.9 million) and Hewlett-Packard at no. 16 (up 369%). Internet spend at Disney and Visa also grew strongly, up 313% and 671% respectively.
Computers and software (including on-line and Internet services) led all categories with 50.5% of ad dollars spent on the Internet at $275 million. It was followed by financial at $42 million and telecommunications at $32 million. Interestingly, media and advertising came in No. 4 at $29.8 million, representing 5.5% of the total 1997 expenditures.