PARIS: Increasing numbers of brand owners are turning to online display advertising in France, helping this channel outpace the growth of the market as a whole.

According to figures from the IAB and SRI, the trade bodies, and Kantar, the research firm, display spend in the country climbed by 1.9% during the opening six months of 2012, to €1.7bn.

This rate of expansion surpassed the 1.2% lift posted by the entire advertising sector, where revenues hit €13.9bn. Television saw a 1.1% leap, whereas press was down by 0.6% and the web was up by a relatively modest 0.3% overall.

The amount of organisations utilising web display ads rose by 0.4% to 3,392 on an annual basis. Some 1,557 companies leveraged this format in the first half of both 2011 and 2012, the analysis added.

Orange, the telecoms network, led the expenditure charts on €48.6m, ahead of Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, on €27m, Microsoft, the IT firm, on €26.8m, and Peugeot, the automaker, on €26.5m.

FDJ, the online gaming specialist, recorded an outlay of €23.8m, followed by McDonald's, the fast food chain, on €22.5m.

Three further automakers made the top ten, with Renault on €21.7m, Nissan on €20.9m and Citroën on €19.6m. SFR, the telco, divided this group on €20.7m.

By sector, automotive brands boosted their investment in display by 18.2% to €215.8m. Their counterparts in the FMCG industry raised their expenditure by 4.8% to €190.6m.

Elsewhere, the arts and entertainment segment logged a 20% contraction to €163.3m, while financial services was off by 12.9% to €162.7m.

The services industry, by contrast, registered a 10.3% improvement to €158.9m, and retail was up by an even more substantial 66.6% to €150.5m.

Among the biggest spenders in the latter category were Carrefour, the hypermarket group, on €14.5m, IKEA, the furniture chain, on €11.5m, and Leclerc, another supermarket operator, on €8m. 

Data sourced from Kantar; additional content by Warc staff