Digital Ad Spend In The UK Rises 12.6% In H1 2012

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UK brands pumped £2.6 billion into online and mobile advertising in January-June 2012, making for a healthy 12.6% rise on a like-for-like basis despite the tough economic climate that is weighing on their budgets, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau’s latest report.

The research, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, revealed that mobile advertising in particular scored a tremendous 132% year-on-year spike in spending, hitting £181.5 million in the first half of the year. Mobile devices represented 7% of the total digital marketing spend in the period. Paid-for search advertising rose by 15.9% on a like-for-like basis to £1.53 billion and classifieds advanced 7.2% to £427 million. The consumer goods sector and the finance industry were the largest contributors to digital display advertising volumes, with both representing nearly 16% of display ad spend in the period. Also among the top five digital display advertisers were entertainment & media, retail and travel & transport.

The growth in digital advertising is partly being driven by the rise in smartphone sales in the UK. Currently, as much as 58% of the UK population uses such devices. It is no surprise that consumers are increasingly turning to digital technology and services as they allow them to stay connected and have fun, the IAB’s director of research and strategy Tim Elkington says. Mobile advertising, in particular, will most likely grow further as the majority of Britain’s top 100 advertisers are yet to introduce a mobile optimised site, he added.

The report suggests that spending across digital channels in the UK will top £5 billion for the whole of 2012.