April 26, 2007, 12:00 AM

Food and beverage marketers develop a taste for web ads

The Internet is the rising star of food and beverage marketers, who spent $183 million on web advertising last year, up 26.9% from $145 million in 2005, researchers eMarketer says in a report released this week.

The Internet is the rising star of food and beverage marketers, who spent $183 million on web advertising last year, up 26.9% from $145 million in 2005, researchers eMarketer says in a report released this week. At the only other medium with an increase last year, print magazines, food and beverages ad spending rose 2.2%.

“Food and drink is becoming an online staple for consumers who are searching the Internet for healthy eating tips and recipes as well as products they see advertised in other media,” says Lisa Phillips, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the new report, “CPG Online: Food & Beverages Party On.”

Consumer products goods marketers spend their ad dollars mostly on branding, sponsorships and direct response through tools such as e-mail, while allocating only 15-20% of their online ad spending to paid search marketing, eMarketer says.

The Internet still accounts for a relatively small share of overall ad spend by food and beverage marketers: The $183 million spent online last year was dwarfed by $5.39 billion spent on TV ads and $2.22 billion spent in magazines. But the Internet and print magazines were the only advertising media to increase their share of overall U.S. advertising spend in 2006 over 2005.

Following are the 2006 advertising spending totals for six categories (in billions of dollars), their percentage change over 2005, and their 2006 market share according to eMarketer and TNS Media Intelligence:
TV: $5.39, -2.7%, 62.2%
Print magazines: $2.22, +2.2%, 25.6%
Radio: $0.53, -7%, 6.2%
Outdoor: $0.24, -9.5%, 2.8%
Internet: $0.18, 26.9%, 2.1%
Newspapers: $0.10, -24.7%, 1.2%.

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