Online Advertising No Longer the 'Poor Cousin' of TV

A recent report has shown that online advertising has overtaken television expenditure for the first time.

Justin Pearse, editor of industry information website New Media Age, said the tough economic times had led to a significant fall in TV advertising spending, which saw it being overtaken about a year earlier than most had expected. "It had to happen eventually, but online advertising has been seen as the poor cousin to TV for so long that it's still a huge milestone."

The report said that online spending grew 4.6% in the first half of 2009, while TV spending in comparison shrank 16.1%. Technology firms were the biggest spenders on online adverts, making up about 19% of the market, followed by telecoms firms, the finance sector and entertainment and media.

However, Thinkbox, the marketing body for the main UK commercial television broadcasters, said the figures did not compare like with like. They highlighted that television advertising remains the most effective advertising medium "pound for pound" but is even more effective when put together with online advertising. "To set them up in competition is a mistake and misses their complementary relationship."

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