WEDNESDAY 30 SEP 2009 12:00 AM


According to the bi-annual survey by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the trade association for online advertising, online advertising expenditure is now the leading advertising medium in the UK, exceeding that of television.

The survey, published today, 30 September 2009, saw UK television advertising expenditure account for 23.5% of all ad spend, representing £1.75bn. Television accounted for 21.0%. Much of this reversal of media fortune is down to the sharp decline in television ad revenues rather than an increase in online ad expenditure. Although the online sector did increase by 4.7% this represented much slower growth than the 21% seen in the IAB’s report on 2008 first half performance, published this time last year.

Although many have been predicting an eventual top ranking, the ascent to the ad spend summit for online has certainly come earlier than most pundits predicted. The IAB themselves predicted as recently as May of this year that it would take a few years before online ad spend overtook the dominance of television.

According to Martin McNulty, director of online agency TrafficBroker, "Television's fate has been accelerated by the recession. Businesses need performance, not a fanciful piece of brand positioning."