NEW YORK: Non-traditional media in the US is now attracting an average 15% of marketing budgets, according to a survey by the American Advertising Federation. In addition, 73% of those surveyed said they allocated up to 20% of their spend on new and experimental media.

Marketers also said traditional media had to innovate to stay competitive. Those most in need of a novel approach and reinvention, according to the report, were newspapers (51.4%), network television (34.5%) and radio (33.8%).

Of the 1,000 industry executives polled, 80% believed the pace of media innovation was faster in 2006 than in the previous year, while nearly 60% thought the pace would quicken even more this year.

The rush to advertise in the Second Life virtual community caught most executives by surprise, with 77% saying they did not see it coming, while 61% were caught on the hop by the advance of video sharing website YouTube.

The survey found 86% of those polled had foreseen the mushrooming of TV programs via the web, while 80% were unfazed by the wide adoption of SMS messaging.

When asked about approaches to media planning in the coming year, 78% of respondents ranked "I am always open to new ways to use traditional media" highest.

Almost as many (75.5%) opted for "the right media mix almost always includes a balance of traditional and non-traditional media"; while 57.7% staunchly declared "the search for new media properties to grow my brand never stops".

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff