As TV viewing becomes increasingly fragmented, advertisers could place their faith and dollars in web commercials, a new survey suggests.

The study, commissioned by US drugs giant Pfizer, concludes that ads it ran on the MSN Video platform during news, sports and entertainment programs, are as effective as TV commercials in generating brand interest, conveying a distinctive message and influencing viewers.

The results, delivered by global researcher Millward Brown, pleased Pfizer so much it now plans to run the ads year round on MSN.

Says Kaki Hinton, vp advertising services at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, which makes such products as Listerine, Benadryl and Sudafed: "This study was the catalyst for us to enter the broadband arena as an innovative, new way to connect with consumers."

More than 63 million Americans access the internet via broadband.

Rishad Tobaccowala of Starcom MediaVest , which helped develop MSN Video, says: "Advertisers can't afford to be cut off from the growing number of online consumers who now spend less time in front of the TV and more time online via broadband."

Data sourced from BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff