Television remains a good way of reaching a large audience but according to Yahoo!, the number of North Americans watching TV was broadly flat between 2004 and 2009 while their internet use rose by 117 per cent.

Shifting a portion of television ad spending to internet marketing services could therefore boost the effectiveness of a campaign without incurring any extra cost, it added.

The search engine’s analysis of Nielsen data showed that brand recall increased by more than 50 per cent when a person saw an online ad 20 times or more before a TV commercial.

In four case studies involving entertainment, automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods brands, shifting between ten or 15 per cent of television ad budgets to the internet "significantly lowered" cost per point, or the price of attracting one per cent of the target audience.

According to Thinkbox, 54 per cent of UK broadband users watch TV while surfing the web.

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