The first six months of 2001 saw a 10% drop in internet adspend to $1.5 billion, according to CMRi, a unit of Competitive Media Reporting.

The Taylor Nelson Sofres-owned research firm, which blamed slow economic growth for the decline in demand for ads, forecast that online spend would not recover by early next year.

“As budget planning for 2002 gets under way, companies still recovering from their losses will be reluctant to channel their dollars toward major ad campaigns,” commented CMR chief executive David Peeler. “With this mindset, we do not expect a jump-start in spending to kick in by first quarter 2002, as many have hoped.”

Yahoo! remained the website attracting the most ad dollars, taking $197.3 million, a year-on-year rise of 1.7%. Runner-up with $174m was

Top online advertiser was General Motors, spending $25.4m over the period, with eBay narrowly behind at $24.4m.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)