Web advertisement spending tops $US1B

Overall Internet advertising rose 90 percent last year from the previous year, to hit $US1.033 billion, according to a study released Friday by InterMedia Advertising Solutions in New York.

While technology companies continued to be the biggest share of Internet advertisers last year, their overall share of the market dropped from 50.5 percent to 44.7 percent, according to the InterMedia report.

The largest increases in Internet spending came from medicines, up 387 percent; organisations, including nonprofits and government agencies, up 329 percent; retailers, up 236 percent; direct marketers, up 215 percent; transportation, hotels and resorts, up 135 percent; and financial, up 129 percent.

Even as their overall share of the pie dropped, however, computer and software firms still hiked their ad budgets by 64 percent.

The company said it tracked about 300 Web sites for its report, as well as advertising trends in 400 different industries. Web ads represented 1.29 percent of overall advertising expenditures, InterMedia estimated, up from 0.74 percent in 1997.

The top 50 sites in the report accounted for more than $965 million in ad revenues, a 93 percent increase from 1997.

Last year's top 10 'Net advertisers, according to InterMedia: Microsoft ($35 million, up 9 percent); IBM ($29 million, up 59 percent); Compaq Computer ($16 million, up 170 percent); General Motors ($13 million, up 85 percent); Excite ($12 million, up 1.5 percent); Infoseek ($9.3 million, up 22 percent); AT&T ($9.3 million, up 44 percent); Hewlett-Packard ($8.1 million, up 103 percent); Barnes & Noble ($7.6 million, up 280 percent); and Datek Securities ($7.6 million, up 202 percent).

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