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Study Shows Record-Breaking Online Ad Sales

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-02-12

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In 1996, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) began tracking interactive advertising revenue.

Thursday, they announced that online advertising revenue in the United States has reached the highest peak the IAB and PwC have yet recorded

In the fourth quarter of 2003, the estimated total revenue was $2.2 billion, with revenue estimates for the entire year totaling $7.2 billion. This breaks the previous record from the dot-com boom in 2000, when interactive advertising revenue totaled $2.12 billion.

Greg Stuart, President & CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, says these figures come as no surprise. "Our medium is such that we should expect this positive performance. Based on sound business principles the industry has grown up and become a great competitive advantage for those marketers who have been paying attention."

Noting that online advertising is "not exactly a secret weapon any longer," Stuart adds, "Our medium continues to lead where others have fallen off, and smart marketers know it, and are shifting dollars and gaining share."

Online advertising lead the way for all other advertising segments in 2003, according to December estimates by Universal McCann.

"The online medium continues to demonstrate its vitality in any number of ways," says Tom Hyland, Partner and Chair of PricewaterhouseCoopers' New Media Group, which conducts the "Advertising Revenue Report."

In a related report, search engine marketing spending also skyrocketed in 2003.

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