DUBLIN: Digital adspend in Ireland increased at a faster rate than all other media in 2012, with strong growth in paid-for search helping fuel a double-digit rise to €158m.

The 2012 IAB PwC Adspend Study, a partnership between the Irish trade body and the consultancy, is based on a survey of leading publishers, sales houses and advertising networks.

The study reported a 12.3% increase in digital expenditure for the year and noted the strength of the channel's performance when compared to traditional media, which suffered an overall 6.2% decline.

Much of this growth was contributed by paid-for search, which took a 45% share of the year's digital adspend, amounting to €66.6m. It was also the fastest growing format, up 24% over the year.

Next came display advertising, which took a 34% share worth €50.6m, up 5% on the previous year. Within this total, IAB Ireland noted an increased spend on video advertising and on innovative digital formats such as home page takeovers.

Display advertising on social media sites increased almost twice as fast, at 9%, and reached €6.3m. Classified advertising online held a 20% share, worth €29m and had grown 13% over the year.

FMCG advertisers were found to be the biggest-spending category, accounting for 15% of total display spend, followed by finance on 12% and telcos on 11%.

Mobile adspend was broken out separately and amounted to €9.9m, with display and SMS/MMS advertising taking the bulk of this. FMCG advertisers were again the top spending category.

"A key takeout from our 2012 study is the increased adoption of display advertising by FMCG marketers as an important driver of brand awareness," said Suzanne McElligott, chief executive of IAB Ireland.

"Another finding is that Irish advertisers are increasingly using video and new innovative display formats which feature enhanced interactivity in their integrated campaigns."

Data sourced from IAB Ireland; additional content by Warc staff