IAB Calls Slowing Online Ad Spending Growth “Torrid”

iab_logo_good.jpgOnline ad spending has grown at “a torrid pace,” 26.8 percent, during the first half of this year over the same period last year, Randall Rothenberg told a packed crowd at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s MIXX conference in New York yesterday. The IAB prez said spending hit the $10 billion milestone in the first half. “This is the first time in history this has happened,” he gushed.

When the IAB reported numbers for the first half of ’06 from its regular online ad spending report (conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers), it pegged spending at $7.9 billion, a 37 percent increase over the same period the year before.

Sure, nobody’s saying 26.8 percent growth isn’t moving at a fast clip, but during the first half of last year it grew 10 percent more over the previous year.

As reported here last week, though the reports would have us believe that online spending is scorching, it might be smart to temper that a bit, considering both Nielsen and TNS also reported slowing Web ad spending growth during the first half of ’07 compared to that period of ’06. Yes, it’s becoming bigger piece of the overall ad spending pie, but the fact is, all three of these measures — IAB, Nielsen and TNS — show spending growth has dwindled since last year at this time.

Taking into consideration the IAB counts a variety of online ad forms including the monster that is search, in addition to just display ads like TNS and Nielsen do, this is an important caveat.

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