The internet is set to be an area of significant growth for the advertising industry in the next few years, research confirms.

New advertising expenditure forecasts from ZenithOptimedia reveal that, aside from search engine optimisation improvements, many firms will look to invest greater capital in the likes of online public relations and affiliate marketing.

Estimates from the research body suggest that, between this year and 2010, internet ad spend will rise by as much as 69 per cent.

This will raise the market’s overall share of advertising revenue from 8.1 per cent to 11.5 per cent, as companies try to complement their search engine marketing with other ways of attracting customers.

In the UK, the increased investment is set to be even higher, reaching as much as 20 per cent, e-consultancy reports.

If ZenithOptimedia’s predictions are borne out, online marketing will become an increasingly major force.

Chief executive Steve King announced that online public relations initiatives were due to "overtake radio advertising in 2008; to attain a double-digit share of global advertising in 2009; and to overtake magazine advertising in 2010, with 11.5 per cent of total ad spend."

ZenithOptimedia claims to be the world’s most comprehensive advertising industry research company.

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