The online advertising market in the UK grew by 4.2 per cent in 2009 in spite of the global recession.
The increase in online ad spend from £3.35 billion in 2008 to £3.54 billion last year came despite a decline in total UK advertising revenues, according to research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Paid search saw one of the largest gains, with like-for-like growth of 9.5 per cent to £2.15 billion. The sector now accounts for 60.7 per cent of all online advertising spend, up from 59.3 per cent in 2008.
Looking at the total growth of the online advertising industry since 2000, the sector has witnessed an increase in revenues from £153m to £3.54bn last year – a 2,200 per cent rise.
Spending on display advertising fell by 4.4 per cent during the year, although within that bracket online video spending generated £28.3m, up 140 per cent year-on-year.
Affiliate marketing also saw good growth during 2009, up 38.2 per cent to £72.6m
The research was carried out on behalf of the Internet Advertising Bureau.
Guy Phillipson, its chief executive officer, said: “In 2009 the advertising industry was hit hard but online has proved itself a winning medium, capturing a greater share of marketing budgets.
“In the past year we’ve seen some real success stories as search passed the £2 billion mark, and online video advertising experienced spectacular growth. And with sectors such as retail and consumer goods increasing their spending on the internet we can look forward to a healthier 2010.”