Social Media

Internet advertising

The size of the internet advertising market has overtaken television for the first time as Britain’s biggest advertisers flock to social networks and online video sites to target a younger audience.

Companies spent £2.3 billion on internet advertising in the first half of the year, almost 14 per cent more than in the first half of last year, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau and PwC.

Advertising on online video sites doubled in the first half as advertisers looked to match their adverts to the billions of videos being watched via computers and smartphones — about 2.3 billion videos were watched in Britain in June.

The boom in online advertising helped to drive a modest 1.4 per cent rise in the overall sector in the first six months of the year to £8.3 billion. Online now accounts for well over a quarter of the advertising market, compared with 10 per cent five years ago.

Much of the rise was the result of higher spending by consumer goods companies such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Ford, while entertainment companies such as BSkyB — which is 39.1 per cent-owned by News Corp, parent company of The Times — have also switched spending to the internet on banner advertising, social media campaigns and video.

Consumer goods companies now trail only financial institutions in spending on online advertising.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, said: “Online offers a potent combination for all marketers, and the indications are that double-digit growth will continue in the UK.”

Anna Bartz, the strategy manager at PwC, said that online has proved attractive to advertisers during the downturn as they could better measure whether their money had been spent wisely.

The Times, Technology