Online marketing companies in the US saw revenues of $6.4 billion (£4 billion) in the third quarter of 2010, according to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The figure was the highest quarterly result ever and showed a 17 per cent rise from the same period a year ago, the organisation stated.

David Silverman, a partner at PwC, noted the statistics demonstrated an "accelerating shift in consumer behaviour towards the internet and away from traditional media".

President and chief executive officer of IAB Randall Rothenberg said companies are using internet marketing services to engage with their customers and the sector is a key contributor to the growth of the economy.

The group's recent half-yearly report revealed search was the main focus of online advertising, responsible for 47 per cent of revenue, more than double the 23 per cent that was provided by display banners, the next biggest sector.

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