In September 2009 it was announced that the U.K. was the first major economy where advertisers spent more on internet advertising than on TV advertising, with a record £1.75 billion online spent in the first six months of 2009.

Now, a similar story seems to be happening in the U.S. Information researchers and analysts Outsell surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. advertisers in December 2009. They found that in 2010 companies will spend $119.6 billion on online and digital strategies, from search engine keywords to seminars on the web, while they plan to invest $111.5 billion in print such as newspaper and magazine ads. Online's lead over print will still be minor, though, at about 1.2 per cent.

However, as companies are restructuring their marketing budget from print to online, they often leave their former marketing partners to invest in other strategies.

“Advertisers are directing dollars toward the channels which generate the most qualified leads and most effective branding,” said Chuck Richard, vice-president and lead analyst at Outsell. “As they emerge from the recession, they need more accountability, and they're spreading their spending over a widening set of options.” Overall, Outsell forecasts that U.S. spending on advertising and marketing will increase in 2010, but by just 1.2 per cent to $368 billion. Print magazine advertising will rise by 1.9 per cent or $9.4 billion, according to Outsell.

Outsell's study indicates that ad spending is picking up pace again, but might be directed towards online rather than print. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010

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