BRUSSELS: Online advertising expenditure continues to grow across Europe, as the latest data from IAB Europe indicate 13.4% growth in the first half of this year, with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) the fastest-growing region.

The AdEx Benchmark H1 2016 study, produced by IAB in collaboration with IHS Markit, showed that online advertising reached €18.6bn in first half of 2016, up from €16.4bn in the corresponding period of 2015; double-digit growth is expected to continue for the full year.

The CEE region helped to drive overall growth with an increase of 16.2% whilst spending in the more mature markets of Western Europe rose 13.1%.

And, as might be expected, mobile has been central to the expansion of online advertising across all formats: mobile display grew by 61.3% and mobile search by 57.3%.

Mobile display was particularly prominent in the CEE region, the study reported, where spending leapt more than 100%.

Display advertising growth continued to outpace paid-for-search. Display increased 18.2% to nearly €7bn in H1 2016, representing 37% of total online advertising; search expenditure rose 13.3% and accounts for 47% of the total. Once again, CEE led the way with a 27.1% increase in display spending.

"Marketers are realising the potential of mobile as an important channel for brand advertising and demonstrates improvements in technology and formats," noted Townsend Feehan, CEO of IAB Europe

And just as it was little surprise that mobile spending was increasing, so too video advertising is growing rapidly – up 46% to a total of €1.6bn.

"Online video is key to the growth of online advertising as brand advertisers look to build brand awareness and publishers to provide engaging content for their users," said Anne Goodman, Vice-Chair of the IAB Europe and BBC Worldwide executive.

"Video will continue to expand its share of online display advertising as inventory supply increases," she added.

Internet adspend in the UK, Europe's largest ad market, is expected to rise 15.7% to €13.7bn in 2016, according to Warc's latest International Ad Forecast. Further growth, of 9.5%, is anticipated in 2017, by when the market should be worth over €15bn.

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additional content by Warc staff