US declines foretell the future for UK digital advertising

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At the FT, Richard Waters (who covers the tech industry from San Francisco) has been taking a look at the latest figures for online advertising from the US. The numbers come from the Internet Advertising Bureau (US chapter). Waters writes:

The headline figures are bad enough: online ad spending growth fell to 12.8 per cent in the second quarter, barely half the rate of growth seen at the end of last year. . .

. . . Not contained in the official release is an even more disturbing piece of data: the growth rate of online display advertising had already slumped to 8 per cent in the second quarter, from 24 per cent in the preceding three months. No wonder the valuations of internet stocks have been deflating so fast.

Compare and contrast with the Guardian‘s upbeat coverage of yesterday’s numbers from the IAB in the UK. Over here, the IAB’s Guy Phillipson is still touting “incredible” increases in digital expenditure.

Yes indeed: the IAB is suggesting that online display in the UK grew by 16.3% during 1H08.

But are we six months behind the US? I’d say we are. From that perspective, the Q1-Q2 US collapse in online display revenue growth (from 24% to 8%) looks fairly frightening.

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