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Global internet ad spend hits $85 billion

Global internet ad spend hits $85 billion


Internet advertising expenditure has experienced a 16% year-on-year increase, with $84.8 billion being spent worldwide throughout 2011. The sector now accounts for 17% of all the funds spent on any measured advertising.

Of the main continents, Western Europe ranked lowest with a $21 billion spend in 2011. Asia-Pacific outgoings amounted to second place with $24.8 billion, while North America came out on top thanks to a $34.5 billion overall digital ad spend. The findings are part of the GroupM media and marketing forecasting series, with the data for the report coming from GroupM parent company, WPP.

The report’s predictions reveal that 2012 ad spend is set to reach $98.2 billion globally, which is close to 16% more than last year. Segregating continents once again ranks Western Europe third with $23 billion, Asia-Pacific second with $31.4 billion and North America first with $38 billion.

UK spending surge

In the UK, internet ad spend rose to $6.9 billion in 2011 from $6.2 billion in 2010. Group M’s report is forecasting another seven figure increase in 2012, with over $7.5 billion set to be channelled into digital promotion. Drilling down further into the figures reveals that paid search will likely cost the advertiser £2.8 billion, display £1 billion and classified £0.8 billion over the course of the year.

New York-based GroupM Interaction Global CEO Rob Norman believes that the most important thing to be gleaned from the report was not the burgeoning digital expenditure, but the sheer breadth of options that advertisers now have available to target the consumer. “It seems that a combination of scale of usage of an increasingly social and mobile web, the penetration of devices supported by it, and the continued atomisation of audiences and content (in both their creation and distribution) combine to tell the story of the year,” he summarised.

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Simon Holland

Simon Holland

Simon is the news and research reporter at Existem. Previously a technology journalist, he now spends his time investigating both future and developing trends in performance marketing whilst producing editorial content for

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