LONDON: Advertisers in the UK spent a record £3.04bn online in the first half of 2013, with mobile expenditure doubling and consumer goods companies tripling their spending on mobile display, according to new research.

The latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) Digital Adspend report, conducted by PwC with comScore consumer data, revealed that digital adspend was up 17.5% in the first half, with mobile advertising registering substantially faster growth at 127% to £429.2m.

Consequently, mobile's share of all digital advertising has doubled within a year, from 7.2% to 14.1%.

And within mobile, video leapt 1,260%, albeit from a low base of just £1.7m in the first half of 2012 to £23m in the first half of 2013.

Tim Elkington, Director of Research & Strategy at the Internet Advertising Bureau, did not anticipate any let-up in the progress of mobile, as he pointed to ever greater smartphone penetration and the successful roll out of 4G networks. "2013 could be the year when advertising spend on mobile crosses the £1bn threshold," he said.

Within the overall digital advertising environment, paid for search was the dominant format, accounting for 59% of the total, followed by display on 24% and classified on 15%.

Total mobile display advertising (including video) increased by 195% year on year to reach £150.5m in the first half of 2013, and to account for 20.4% of all digital display advertising.

There was also significant movement within this format, as, for the first time, consumer goods became the biggest spender on mobile display, overtaking entertainment & media, the long-time leader. The sector's share almost doubled, from 14.5% to 26.8%, while that of entertainment & media remained steady on 22.9%.

Anna Bartz, Senior Manager at PwC, said the fact that consumer goods, such as food, clothing and jewellery, now took more than one quarter of mobile display advertising showed how "important brands regard smartphones as key to consumer buying behaviour".

She added that mobile was no longer just a communications or entertainment device but "a bona fide retail one" and noted the contrast with entertainment's dominance on 'fixed' devices such as computers and laptops.

The study report also found that British consumers spent an average 43 hours a month online, with 22% of that taken up with entertainment and 12% with social networks and blogging.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff