Online advertising spending topped £2.8 billion in 2007, making online one of the largest ad markets, according to new figures released by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

This growth represents a 38 per cent year-on-year increase, taking the medium to a market share of 15.3 per cent – up from 11.4 per cent in 2006.

Internet ad spending in 2007 exceeded the most optimistic forecasts and is now larger than both press classified ads and regional newspapers, the report said.

In just three years online ad spending has increased by £2 billion, driven by the internet which accelerated nine times faster than the entire advertising sector, which experienced 4.3 per cent growth to reach £18.4 billion.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, said: “It’s clear marketing directors now recognise the value of online to drive their business.

“To grow 38 per cent from £2 billion to £2.8 billion is a very powerful performance and with 16 per cent share of media spend, the UK is head and shoulders above all other major world markets.”

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