Online ad spend jumps to £14.8 billion

On the back of a strong showing from social media and mobile platforms, online advertising has grown at a rate not seen in five years.


On the back of a strong showing from social media and mobile platforms, online advertising has grown at a rate not seen in five years.

Internet advertising spending in the UK has risen by 14.4 per cent year-on-year with £4.8 billion spent during 2011.

The figure, which represents an increase of £687 million on 2010, is the first time the £1 billion mark has been surpassed, according to the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) report conducted by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The top five categories of internet advertisers are finance (15 per cent), consumer (15 per cent), retail (12 per cent), entertainment and media (12 per cent) and technology (9 per cent).

Video advertising expenditure doubled to £109 million from £54 million the previous year. The format has grown more than eight-fold since 2008, when video spend was £12 million, and now represents 10 per cent of all online display advertising.

Tim Elkington, director of research and strategy at the IAB, says that online and mobile advertising has experienced ‘staggering growth’ since the study began in 1997.

‘The 2011 results are full of breakthroughs for digital; with online display passing the £1 billion barrier for the first time, proving that advertisers increasingly recognise the central role that online plays in their marketing campaigns,’ he adds.

The rise in advertising spend comes as online audience levels reached 39.7 million people a month, up by 375,000 from 2010.


Advertising on mobile devices has risen by 156 per cent to a new high of £203 million.

Anna Bartz, strategy manager at PwC, says that 2011’s results reflect the continued appeal of digital media to advertisers for both brand advertising and direct response.

Bartz adds, ‘All formats grew, with strongest increases in video and social media, and in search. Internet ad spend’s 14.4 per cent growth is exceptional when compared to an estimated advertising growth of less than 2 per cent across all media in 2011.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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