June 11, 2012, 2:10 PM

Online ad revenue climbs 15%

Marketers spent $8.4 billion on web advertising in Q1, a trade group says.

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Spending on online advertising increased to an estimated $8.4 billion during the first quarter of 2012 from $7.3 billion in the first quarter of 2011, a jump of 15%, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group for the online advertising industry.

The IAB says the Q1 spending is the highest amount ever recorded for the first quarter. The trade group counts spending on all forms of online ads, including search, display, classifieds, mobile, lead generation and e-mail.

The IAB did not break down spending by category for the Q1 report. According to its previous report covering 2011, total spending for online advertisements increased 21.9% last year, closing the year at $31.74 billion. Retail advertisers routinely spend the most on online advertising, accounting for $7.1 billion, or 22%, of total online ad spending last year.

 “The year-over-year growth between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012 sets quite a milestone,” says David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S., which compiles the report with the IAB. “Moreover, a 15% increase over the comparable period in 2011 is a solid affirmation the Internet is delivering on its promise to attract consumers and the advertising dollars that follow.”

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