Latest figures from Australia's Audit Bureau of Verification Services show online adspend grew to A$388 million ($300m, €231m, £159m) in 2004, a rise of 64 per cent.

The internet is the continent's fastest growing medium - in common with US and UK trends - and overtook outdoor advertising for the first time last year. Total Australian adspend rose by 10% to A$9.1 billion.

Spending on banner ads, classifieds and sponsored links through search engines was A$61m more than on posters, street furniture, buses and taxis, which last year claimed A$327 million of the Australian ad market.

The biggest online spenders were financial services companies, but these have been joined in the dollar rush by fmcg advertisers who paid out A$4.7m last year, up from A$1.9m in 2003.

Says Nic Cola, commercial director of Fairfax Digital: "It's really brought home the fact that online is becoming an established medium."

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff