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UK Online Spending Soars!

Online advertising spend in Britain grew 41 percent in the first half of 2007 to give it a market share of almost 15 percent, new data showed on Tuesday.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in a report compiled with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Advertising Research Centre said online ad spend in Britain could reach a new high of 2.75 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) by the end of the year.

The growth puts online ad spend above the size of the direct mail sector, which had a market share of 11.8 percent.

"The online market is developing at an astounding rate and once again we see exceptional growth and a significant increase in market share," Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, said in a statement.

"Ninety percent of Internet users are on broadband now and nearly 40 percent are using wireless. We are also seeing women and the over 50s spending far more time online, which makes the Internet a very attractive medium to a broader set of advertisers."

The total British advertising market grew 3.1 percent in the first half of the year to 9.1 billion pounds.

All major online ad formats surpassed expectations, with classified ads growing 72 percent year-on-year as marketing budgets steadily switch from print to online. Display advertising grew 33 percent and paid-for search was up 44 percent.