Advertising & the Internet

The year 1999 could be dubbed the 'Year of the Internet'. The medium has generated more news and comment than almost any other topic and has become a key part of many people's working and leisure lives. This article looks at the data that has been produced concerning the spread of the Internet as a medium, the Internet as a vehicle of advertising and the amount of money spent by Internet-based companies on advertising in the traditional media. However, a warning is required regarding the statistics presented below. The Internet is a very new medium and there are few, if any, consistent measurements of any of the key data. As a consequence much of the data presented does not compare like with like. The figures on penetration and Internet adspend give only an indication of the actual number online or amount spent. They are more useful as indicators of the relative development of different national markets and the growth trends in these markets. Data as robust and reliable as the adspend data collected for the `traditional' advertising media is still many months or even years away.