The UK has become the first major market where spending on online advertising has exceeded that of TV, according to figures released by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The recession caused an overall reduction in advertising spend, but many companies have invested more in online advertising compared with traditional media.
New Media Age’s editor, Justin Pearse, said that although this was expected to happen eventually, the milestone had been achieved at least a year sooner than expected due to the current economic climate.
Unsurprisingly, technology firms made nearly one-fifth of all online spend, followed by telecoms, finance, and entertainment and media.
Naturally, a marketing body representing commercial TV broadcasters was quick to point out that the comparison is not like-for-like.
Lindsey Clay, marketing diretor at Thinkbox, said that online marketing is made up of many different things (such as email, classified ads, display ads, and search marketing) and should be judged individually rather than lumping the numbers together and then compare it to TV advertising.
That’s a fair point, but even so, it’s another sign of the times that, even in an economic downturn, Internet marketing is seeing as an increasingly viable option for reaching an audience.