UK Net Advertising Surpasses Print

    March 29, 2007

Internet advertising is a big business in the UK, and according to a new report, it’s reached record proportions.  Over 2 billion pounds – that’s about $3.95 billion – was spent in 2006, which represents a 41% increase over the previous year’s figures.  Even more important is the fact that only $3.73 billion was spent on newspaper advertising.

That’s right – for the first time ever, online ads beat out their print counterparts.  The report, which was produced by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, tried to explain the surge.  “With almost all expenditure on traditional media in decline, the upward momentum of the internet reflects a new era . . . which is driven by high-speed broadband take-up and user-generated content.”

Yet traditional media is, if not exactly thriving, far from dead in Britain.  A BBC article reveals that there was only a meager 0.2% increase in spending on newspaper ads in 2006, but at least the industry managed to avoid a loss.  And although “TV advertising . . . experienced a 4.7% fall in spending,” it still raked in around $7.66 billion (almost double the earnings of those Internet ads).

Nevertheless, the Brits appear to be on advertising’s cutting edge.  With their online spending “representing 11.4% of total advertising revenues,” according to The Guardian, “The report highlights Britain’s world-leading position, even compared with America.  The global average proportion of advertising spending online is 5.8%.  The US figure is about 7-7.5%.”

Spending on Internet advertising in the UK is undeniably off and running.