Online marketing and the internet advertising industry has “come of age”, according to industry analysts.

A recent study conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that a 41.3 per cent growth in spending, in the first half of 2007 took online advertising to 14.7 per cent of all marketing expenditure.

Paid search showed above-average inflation of 44 per cent and comprises the majority of all spending at 57.1 per cent of the overall total.

In the light of the figures from the IAB, Karin von Abrams, senior analyst at eMarketer said: “These figures demonstrate that online advertising and marketing – like the internet audience – have truly come of age in the UK.”

She added: “It’s remarkable to see online advertising rise so strongly on the back of robust gains last year.”

Spending for online classified advertising is growing by 72 per cent annually and accounts for 20.8 per cent of all internet advertising spending. Internet display advertising rose by 33 per cent to £287 million and a share of 21.5 per cent.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB attributed the “astounding rate” of development of online advertising to “exceptional growth” and increased market share.

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