LONDON: Advertisers in the UK are set to boost their online display and search investment this year, while also leveraging tools including Facebook apps and Apple's iPad.

Industry title New Media Age surveyed the country's leading interactive agencies, finding that display expenditure should rise 9.3% in 2011.

Search also seems set for a 4.4% increase.

Last year, the study predicted a 9% expansion for search and a 6% rise for display.

In NMA's 2009 poll, these increases stood at 17% and 10% respectively.

Paul Frampton, managing director of MPG Media Contacts, suggested the recession had led many marketers to prioritise the basics.

"During the last year advertisers moved away from display but we're seeing them come back due to improvements, including in the ad exchange space. Digital innovation will follow," he said.

"Last year it was more about just doing what was necessary."

Additional contributors encouraging this shift incorporate a renewed emphasis on branding, the evolution of attractive formats like web video, and the possibility of scaling campaigns.

Similarly, the advent of exchanges offering real-time bidding was argued to have enhanced effectiveness.

"This could be a big of a year for display because of the capabilities of demand-side platforms coming on board and their ability to improve targeting and reduce waste," said Richard Wheaton, managing director, Neo@Ogilvy.

Facebook is the largest provider of display advertising in the UK, and has created a range of options - such as applications - which may receive greater attention.

"Search accounts are working at optimum level so there'll only be growth of a few percentage points. Tools like Facebook's API allow for investment in new areas," said Charlie McGee, managing director of Carat Digital.

"From an agency perspective search accounts are being run so well there's no need to throw further money at them. It's now more about understanding what you can do with Twitter rather than throwing millions at Google."

Keith Moor, director of brand communications at Santander, said the financial services group is seeking to "make the model more engaging".

"We'll continue to look at apps, whether that be on Facebook or the iPhone. We'll probably do a bit more on mobile and watch where the developments are going," he said.

Panasonic, the electronics manufacturer, also hopes to connect with consumers in original ways, allocating over 10% of its digital budget to experimental channels.

"About 15% of investment we want to make is on trying new things. For example, on the iPad we will be doing a 3D ad for our 3D TVs," said Andrew Denham, marketing director at Panasonic UK.

Data sourced from NMA/Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff