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£1bn boom in adverts on the Net

Spending on online advertising is expected to reach £1billion by the end of this year, it was revealed yesterday.

For the first time the Internet will attract more money than outdoor advertising on billboards.

Figures show online adverts took up 5.8 per cent of the total advertising markets in the first six months of 2005, compared with outdoors 5.1 per cent.

The spread of broadband has boosted the online market, the Internet Advertising Bureau said – the number of households with broadband has doubled to 9million in just 12 months.

IAB chief Guy Phillipson said: “There is an upgrade every ten seconds and, once people are connected they spend twice as long online – so advertisers are keen to follow their audiences.

“Britons will spend £20billion online this year, which shows we are comfortable buying products and services over the Internet.” But a spokesman for the Outdoor Advertising Association said his members would not be losing any sleep over the competition.

He added: “We anticipated this, we just hadn’t predicted it would happen so soon. However, we have recorded our ninth consecutive quarter of growth and we would be concerned if our revenues were going down.”

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