5% gain in online ad spending forecast for '03

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New York--U.S. online advertising spending will increase 5% in 2003 to $6.70 billion, from $6.38 billion this year, according to a report by eMarketer.

In its "Interactive Marketing: Stats, Strategies and Trends" report released Tuesday, eMarketer said the recovery would be due to several factors, including the expectation that traditional marketers will spend more of their ad budgets on online advertising, the strength of keyword search, classified and rich-media advertising, and an expected small improvement in the economy.

"The last two years were a double-whammy in terms of online marketing, with the economy as a whole going down the tubes and the dot-com fall," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. "It really did a number on online advertising."

Spending online is projected to reach $8.10 billion by 2005, eMarketer said.

The research aggregator benchmarks its figures against Interactive Advertising Bureau/PricewaterhouseCoopers data.

--Carol Krol

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