Search drives global online ad spending despite recession

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London—Two new studies show online media advertising continues to grow globally despite recessionary pressure exerted on most other forms of advertising.

According to a report from international agency ZenithOptimedia, Internet advertising growth is accelerating and will expand worldwide by 10.1% this year. That is about 25% faster than the global online growth rate predicted by the agency in the spring, and is being driven primarily by paid search.

Meanwhile, overall global ad spending will fall 8.5% this year, ZenithOptimedia said. The agency predicted that paid search in the U.S. will grow 20% this year.

Separately, looking further into the future, PricewaterhouseCoopers also forecast robust growth internationally for search ad campaigns. Internet ad expenditures in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will grow almost 30% from current levels by 2013, to $25.2 billion, driven primarily by search pay-per-click. Meanwhile, display ads will drop about 6% to $4.8 billion in that time frame, PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted.

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