Expenditure on web advertising overtook spend on cinema ads for the first time last year, according to figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Internet adspend totalled £154.7 million in 2000 according to research by PwC on behalf of the Internet Advertising Bureau. This compares with the Cinema Advertising Association’s estimate of £128m spent on cinema ads.

Moreover, the figures also reveal that the UK’s internet ad sector suffered less than that of the US at the end of 2000. Fourth-quarter online adspend stood at £49.4m, up from £41.9m in Q3, at a time when US internet ad revenue was falling.

PwC’s Paul Pilkington revealed that there is no evidence of a reduction in online spend at the end of last year to match the fall among more traditional media: “There was a slowing [in growth rates] but I think people might be surprised by the strength of the figures last year, particularly when the US market was contracting.”

However, the sector’s performance since the New Year looks less rosy. Forrester Research estimates that online adspend was £10m in January and £9m in February, which, despite being 30%–40% higher than the same period in 2000, is less than in preceding months.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)