UK online advertising spend overtakes TV

Hold on to your marketing spend, ad fans – it looks as though the good ship television is lurching its way towards a web-shaped iceberg, after a report revealed online advertising spend has overtaken TV for the first time ever.

The bi-annual study, by advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Internet Advertising Bueau (IAB), found despite the recession, internet advertising grew by almost 5% to top £1.75bn during the first half of 2009, compared to just £1.64bn spent on TV advertising.

It isn’t really a surprise this has happened: back in January 2008, bloggers were predicting the UK would become ‘the first major economy’ where advertisers would spend more online than on television.

So what makes online advertising such an enticing prospect for marketers? The low cost of producing an ad for the medium probably has something to do with it: ads can cost very little to make, and advertising space is everywhere – from text-based AdWords to still image banners, MPUs and skyscrapers to the flashy, all-singing, all-dancing ads you get before you watch videos online.

The average television ad costs around £20,000 to produce, and with businesses struggling to survive, online advertising has the versatility it needs to ensure growth, even during the hard times.
Or perhaps it’s something else: perhaps TV channel bosses just need to be more open to ‘1 flat stomach rule’ ads.

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