The French online advertising sector, victim of the global slowdown and the dotcom chimera, recorded a 17% drop in advertising revenues during 2001 according to the latest annual data from that nation’s Interactive Advertising Bureau.

From €184 million ($169.35m; £116.23m) in 2000, revenues plummeted to just €153m last year. As an indicator of the dotcom sector’s decline in France, online firms accounted for 32% of all internet ad purchases in 2000, whereas in 2001 such advertisers dwindled to a meager 10% of the market.

According to the study, carried out in collaboration with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the top-spending sectors last year were distance sales and mail-order companies, between them investing nearly €23m. In percentage terms the latter virtually maintained its 2000 spend.

Banking and financial services companies firms occupied second place in the IAB table, totalling 12% of all online ad spend, although actual spending sank from €20.2m in 2000 to €18.3m in 2001.

In third place came the survivors of the battered dotcom brigade, with ten percent of all online spend. Also-rans were tourism sites and web travel agencies with 9% of total ad spend; telecommunications firms, 8%; computer companies, 8%; and non-mail order retailers, 8%.

In aggregate, the above sectors accounted for around 70% of all French online advertising. The residual 30% included automobiles, insurance, media, publishing, real estate and services.

The IAB wisely mothballed its crystal ball and desisted from any prediction of online revenues in 2002.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff