June 17, 2008 / 8:50 PM / 11 years ago

Online ad sales dip for first time in 3 years

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Spending on online advertising in the first quarter declined for the first time in more than three years when compared to the fourth quarter, the Interactive Advertising Bureau said on Tuesday.

Dollars spent on online advertising totaled $5.8 billion in the first quarter, up 18.2 percent from the year-ago period, but down from $5.9 billion in the 2007 fourth quarter, the IAB said.

“The cyclical fourth quarter to first quarter drop in traditional media advertising spend, combined with an overall economic slowdown, resulted in a not-so-expected first-quarter slowdown in the growth of online advertising,” said David Silverman, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which helped compile the figures.

At the same time, first-quarter online ad revenues of $5.8 billion were the second highest ever recorded for a three-month period, the IAB said, after the 2007 fourth quarter’s $5.9 billion.

“We continue to experience significant growth and vitality in interactive marketing, media and advertising,” said IAB President Randall Rothenberg.

He cited consumers spending more and more time online as advertisers and marketers find more ways to reach them through digital media.

Conducted by the New Media Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the IAB revenue report was launched in 1996 by the IAB. The IAB represents more than 275 interactive companies that sell and support online sales.

Reporting by Duncan Martell, editing by Richard Chang

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