Digital advertisers are increasingly using social networking forums as a means of targeting consumers, an industry expert has suggested.

According to comScore’s senior vice-president Jeff Hackett, portals such as Facebook and MySpace account for one in five display ads seen online.

"It appears that some advertisers are eager to use social networking sites as a new advertising delivery vehicle," he said, adding that this was due to the reach, frequency and low cost of such internet pages.

Mr Hackett’s comments follow the release of data from the comScore Ad Metrix service, which revealed that social media sites accounted for over 20 per cent of all online display ads – indicating that those involved in online PR are turning more and more frequently to such channels.

Facebook and MySpace combined provided more than 80 per cent of ads found on social networks.

In support of these findings, a study by Russell Herder and Ethos Business Law indicated that 81 per cent of those in the industry believe that using social media sites improves client-customer relations.

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