The digital advertising industry is expected to grow this year despite the effects of the economic downturn, a new report has found.

According to a study by the Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA), even though marketers are largely reining in spending, digital advertising firms will grow by about eight per cent this year, reports AdWeek.

The SoDA survey, which questioned 560 companies including 370 digital agencies, found that more than 60 per cent of all digital and traditional advertising firms expect the use of digital marketing to grow within the foreseeable future.

The majority of traditional digital shops (70 per cent) anticipate a rise in business, while just ten per cent expect a drop in their workload.

Paul Lewis, director of operations for SoDA, told AdWeek: “Most [digital agencies] are finding there’s a decent amount of fill work. Maybe they wouldn’t have normally taken [such projects] before.”

Online advertising expenditure totalled £2.8 billion in 2007, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau.