By Maximilian Clarke

Another year of double-digit growth has seen the UK’s online advertising spend for the half year 2011 top £2.26bn.

Total advertising spend in the UK grew by a more modest 1.4% to 8.27%, highlighting the rapid acceleration of online spend, figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), the trade body for digital advertising, in conjunction with PwC and WARC show.

“The spectacular growth of video and social media powering brand display is key to online achieving a record share of 27%,” said Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau. “FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) advertisers were relatively late to the party, but now firmly established as the second highest-spending category, they clearly have all the proof they need to invest in line with the medium's share, and enjoy healthy returns from cross-media campaigns."

“With direct response advertising also thriving in the current climate, online offers a potent combination for all marketers, and the indications are that double-digit growth will continue in the UK.”

Further growth in the UK’s online population, with a growth in the number of high speed broadband users in particular, has driven a ‘triple digit’ surge in online video content- a particularly lucrative section of online advertising.

The enduring popularity of social media platforms, which account for a quarter of UK online hours, has also been responsible for the growth.

“Advertisers are benefiting from sophisticated new online advertising tools across both search and display,” said Anna Bartz, strategy manager at PwC. “In difficult economic times, the transparency and measurability of online display and search advertising is helping marketers spend more wisely and get what they pay for.”

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