UK companies raised internet marketing budgets while reducing those for all other advertising channels in the third quarter, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

The organisation’s latest Bellwether report revealed that the internet was the only channel to experience spending increases during the period, while the harshest reductions took place in the main media, events sponsorship, PR and market research sectors.

According to the IPA, the third quarter represented the fourth consecutive three-month period in which overall ad budgets fell, indicative of the current economic downturn.

"The industry will be watching the next set of results with great interest hoping that, following four quarters of decline, the downward curve levels off, despite the impending recession," said Moray MacLennan, IPA president.

According to a recent forecast published by Zenith Optimedia, spending on internet marketing will comprise 13.8 per cent of total international expenditure on advertising by the year 2010.

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