Online overtakes TV advertising in the UK

Online advertising has overtaken TV advertising in the UK for the first time, with a record £1.75 billion spent on advertising in the first six months of 2009. Internet advertising in the UK now accounts for 23.5% of advertising expenditure, compared to just 21.9% for TV.

For comparison, when the Internet Advertising Bureau first measured online advertising in 1998, just £19.4 million was spent on advertising online.

Lindsey Clay, marketing director at UK TV marketing body, Thinkbox said the measurement is unfair, "It is interesting but meaningless to sweep all the money spent on every aspect of online marketing into one big figure and celebrate it. Online marketing spend is made up of many things, including email, classified ads, display ads (including online TV advertising) and, overwhelmingly, search marketing. They should be judged individually."

Chief executive of the IAB, Guy Phillipson, reckons there is still significant growth potential left in online advertising.

"We could absolutely see it grow to being a 30% medium [of share of ad spend], to go past £4bn to even £5bn annually," he said. "Online display advertising has plenty of room for growth."

Denmark was the first country to see Internet advertising expenditure exceed TV, although the UK is the first major economy to do so.

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31 Comments

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There are a few gems (Doctor Who, for example), but most British TV shows I've seen are horrible. Don't even get me started on the UK spinoff of Law and Order! It was all I could do to sit through a single episode.

The TV season in England is far too short as well. You have reruns ad-nauseum. Sometimes it can be a year or two between seasons for new episodes.

Jaxkesa said,
I'd rather have UK TV than US TV, or any other country's TV any day. US TV is full of unfunny bad sitcoms.


Copied from British TV.

Wait, I was under the impression that having to pay the TV license in the UK meant that you didn't have advertizing on your TV. So is that just on other broadcasters or is the advertizing on BBC as well? If it is on BBC as well, that what exactly does the money from the TV license actually pay for?

The TV licence is just for the BBC, along with the right to use equipment that can recieve a tv signal. So the BBC does not have adverts, all other broadcasters do.

The TV Licence also pays for the BBC's Radio stations along with other services such as the Website and iPlayer.

however Channel 4, ITV and Sky are having a paddy at the moment because they want a cut...

The problem i see with 'BBC has no adverts' is they do! BBC plug all there own stuff like 3 times in one ad break! I can understand have 1 or 2 adverts for programs on, but sometimes it goes over the top.

I don't mind the BBC plugging their own stuff in between the programmes, as long as they never have breaks during the programmes... which they don't.

roadwarrior said,
Wait, I was under the impression that having to pay the TV license in the UK meant that you didn't have advertizing on your TV. So is that just on other broadcasters or is the advertizing on BBC as well? If it is on BBC as well, that what exactly does the money from the TV license actually pay for?

bbc with no ads? that must be a joke you see ads every 10 to 15 mins, except on those crap bbc 3 and 4 channels

roadwarrior said,
Why not simply cut from one program to the next without gaps?

So you don't want any time for breaks? Well, your lifestyle choice I guess :P

what said,
Someone invent adblock for TV, please :P Even if it just muted the thing on ad-breaks.

Tivo, Sky+, V+ ? Just fast-forward through the ads.

All I know is, the fewer times I have to hear "we buy any car... dot com" or "gocompaaaaaaaaare," the better.

what said,
All I know is, the fewer times I have to hear "we buy any car... dot com" or "gocompaaaaaaaaare," the better.

You've been watching too much dave!

Have to throw in the advert that has already became a classic for all the wrong reasons.

"Crisps? In a bag? That's amazing", "It looks like your hand bag, hahahaha".