The big budgets of traditional advertisers such as AT&T Wireless Services are fuelling online advertising growth, according to the new AdRelevance study from Nielsen/NetRatings.

Telecoms giant AT&T showed the biggest increase in online ad impressions over the last year, at 1262%, followed by pharmaceuticals group Schering Plough and MBNA Corporation (financial services) with respective increases of 737% and 471%.

Other sector highfliers were:

DaimlerChrysler (automotive) +461%
Safeway (grocery/retail) +440%
Ameriquest Mortgage (financial services) +226%
Apollo Group (public services/education) +163%
News Corporation (entertainment/movies) +133%

Nielsen/NetRatings' vice president of client analytics Charles Buchwalter explained the trend as a "willing experiment" by traditional advertisers during the recent years of "soft economy".

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff