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Most prolific online advertiser of 2007 is Microsoft

Microsoft has emerged as the UK's most prolific online advertiser so far this year, according to latest research into digital campaigning.

Research carried out by Internet market research firm Nielsen/NetRatings into online advertising activity for the first four months of 2007 found there were a total of 16,300 campaigns, with Microsoft in top spot with 104.

In second spot is Hewlett Packard with 75 campaigns, followed by O2, Fidelity Investments, Dell, Orange and Sky.

Broken down by sector, the top 20 advertisers feature six technology brands, four communications brands, including Nokia, four financial firms, including HSBC, and two retailers, Amazon and

Sky was the only media brand and Weight Watchers the only health brand.

The research also reveals that the top 20 advertisers account for less than 7% of online campaigns.

Alex Burmaster, Nielsen/NetRatings European internet analyst said: "While it's not surprising to see technology and communications brands embracing online advertising, many will note how the finance sector has an equally keen appetite for advertising on the web.

"What is also really interesting is that unlike other areas of online, advertising isn’t dominated by the few. The top five search engines, for example, account for 96% of all searches, yet the top five advertisers account for less than 2.5% of all online advertising campaigns."

The research by Nielsen/NetRatings also shows the growth of online advertising campaigns, from 5.673 in April 2004 to 7,641 in April this year.

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