LONDON: Online advertising spend in Europe rose by 40% in 2007 to €11.2 billion ($17.5bn; £8.8bn) claims the Interactive Advertising Bureau, compared with 26% growth in the US, where the market is now valued at €14.5bn.

The European total was up on the €7.2bn recorded in 2006, with the top three markets – UK, Germany and France – together responsible for some 65% of online adspend.

Among the markets experiencing the most rapid growth, however, were Greece (+91%), Spain (+55%) and Slovenia (+49%).

According to the research – carried out by IAB Europe with PricewaterhouseCoopers – the top advertising categories in 2007 were entertainment and leisure, telecoms finance and insurance.

Says IAB Europe president Alain Heureux: "Despite a slowdown in advertising spend on some traditional media, the rise of online advertising in Europe continues unabated.

"Not only is the growth coming from some of the smaller markets which are seeing significant increases in their market value, but also from the more mature countries as companies move their advertising budgets online for the first time."

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff