Online ad spend in Britain soared last year by 163%, according to the latest figures provided by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the Internet Advertising Bureau.

While conceding that online still accounts for only a minute slice of the overall advertising cake – half of one per cent – PWC observed: “Although … still quite a small category, it is growing enormously. If it continues at the speed at which it is growing, revenue for the medium will have reached £100 million by 2000, which is bigger than cinema advertising.”

Internet ad spend in the UK totalled £51 million during 1999, compared with £19.4 million the preceding year. Banner ads still rule the online roost, accounting for 73% of annual expenditure, although sponsorship deals are becoming increasingly popular.

As yet, fmcg brands have done little more than dip a toe into the cyber-waters: "They're holding back," believes PWC. "Maybe they see the internet as having a different function – they don't seem to see the internet as a brand building medium."

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)