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Online Advertising Spending Surges 41% in Britain

Online advertising spend in Britain grew 41% in the first half of 2007 to give it a market share of almost 15%, new data showed on Tuesday.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in a report compiled with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Advertising Research Centre said online ad spend in Britain could reach a new high of 2.75 billion pounds (US$5.6 billion) by the end of the year.

The growth puts online ad spend above the size of the direct mail sector, which had a market share of 11.8%.

"The online market is developing at an astounding rate and once again we see exceptional growth and a significant increase in market share," Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, said in a statement.

"Ninety percent of Internet users are on broadband now and nearly 40% are using wireless. We are also seeing women and the over 50s spending far more time online, which makes the Internet a very attractive medium to a broader set of advertisers."

The total British advertising market grew 3.1% in the first half of the year to 9.1 billion pounds.

All major online ad formats surpassed expectations, with classified ads growing 72% year-on-year as marketing budgets steadily switch from print to online. Display advertising grew 33% and paid-for search was up 44%.