UK online advertising hits 'five year high'

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Around £4.48bn was spent on online advertising in the UK in 2011: representing the biggest year-on-year rise in half a decade.

Spend grew by 14.4% over the last 12 months - with paid search, or PPC services, accounting for around 58% of the total.

PPC advertising rose 17.5% year-on-year, whilst spending on video-based advertising doubled, to £109m.

Video now represents 10% of all display ads - with Yahoo! and YouTube focussing on watchable ad content.

Display advertising itself has evolved massively in recent years - it became a £1bn industry in the UK for the first time in 2011.

Until relatively recently, most display ads took the form of banners and remarketed ads, placed on web pages either through Google's ad distribution network, or directly hosted on relevant sites.

The rise of social media has caused a massive upthrust in spend, however - with the outlay on social display advertising rising 75% to £240m in the UK in 2011.

New figures from Pricewaterhouse Coopers, in the Internet Advertising Bureau's expenditure report, show display ads made up 24% of all online advertising spending in 2011, up from 23% in 2010. The stats show the amount spent on UK display ads hit £1.13bn by the end of 2011 - the first time more than £1bn has been spent in a year.

The main social players - Twitter, Facebook and YouTube - all host display ads, with various formats giving Internet marketers a suite of advertising options.

The IAB said new display options - such as billboard ads - offered greater visibility for potential customers. Evolving advertising technology, with new ways to attract customers, should ensure this remains a growth area into 2013.

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