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UK Online Advertiser Spending Gains Momentum


eMarketer reports that UK advertising spending suffered a double-digit drop in 2009, according to several sources. However, the Internet defied this downward trend. UK advertisers spent £3.54 billion ($5.56 billion) online in 2009 -- 5.7 percent more than in 2008.

Online spending growth will speed up in 2010 to 7 percent before moderating in 2011. The London Olympics in 2012 will also provide a boost in spending increases.

"On the whole, digital marketers in the UK rose to the challenge of budget restraint with sound strategies and imagination," said Karin von Abrams, eMarketer senior analyst. "Because Internet ad spending continued to grow during the economic downturn, online marketers are also well placed to capitalize on the recovery, whether this is slow and halting, or steady and more rapid."

The Web already claimed a larger share of UK ad revenues than TV in 2009 -- according to MAGNA and ZenithOptimedia, and will consolidate this dominance over the next five years.

Both these sources separate newspapers and magazines when calculating print ad revenues. But. taken together, print ad spending estimates by MAGNA will reach £3.78 billion this year, just under eMarketer's forecast of UK online ad spending.

Several other estimates of UK online ad spending for 2010 are more conservative.

Much of the variation between sources derives from different methodologies, but all firms agree on significant gains to online spending this year.

"The Web has emerged from the recession with impressive momentum," said Ms. von Abrams. "The Internet's reputation for delivering ROI is intact, even enhanced. Digital, in all its forms, is increasingly central to all marketing activities and consumer behavior."

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