NEW YORK: Online advertising in the US surged 37% in the first half of 2006, compared with a year earlier, hitting a record of nearly $8 billion (€6.2bn; £4.2bn), according to latest data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The figures show that during the second quarter internet ad revenues surged to nearly $4.1bn, a 36% increase over the same period in 2005, and up 5.5% over the first quarter of 2006.

The IAB study comes days after US search giant Yahoo raised concerns that adspend in new media could be slowing [WARC News: 21-Sept-06] and warned of a weakness in advertising from the key sectors of automotive and finance.

Since the disclosure, analysts have been divided over whether the problem is singularly Yahoo's or signals a wider malaise.

  • Meanwhile, another survey, this time in Europe, points to internet users in France and the UK as the most susceptible to online advertising and marketing.

    The ongoing NetObserver Europe study found that in the last six months 55.6% of French internet users had taken part in an online competition organised by a brand or an ecommerce site, compared with 35.1% of British internet users.

    Internet users in Germany are least likely to respond to advertising campaigns online and less than half of them think online advertising is creative or innovative.

    The study also found that consumers in the UK lead the way in downloading music from the internet, 17.4% of them having done so in the last six months, while Germans paid for or downloaded the most videogames.

    In Spain, the market is dominated by younger users, with more than 60% in the 15-34 age group. The survey found they are the most likely to use online information and communication services, including instant messaging and telecoms software.

    They are also more likely than users from the UK or German markets to create a blog or use a podcast.

    Data sourced from Toronto Star and Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff