US online advertising increases 38%, says survey

US Internet advertising surged 38% to a record $3.9 billion in the first quarter as marketers moved additional dollars to the Web, according to a survey quoted by a Reuters report.

The Reuters report said Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed leading companies that sold advertising space online, including Yahoo and Google, which were benefiting as consumers spent more of their media and purchasing time on the Internet.

The report said preliminary first-quarter figures indicated the strength of online advertising, which grew to a $12.5-billion industry last year from less than $1 billion in 1997, according to the survey.

First-quarter Internet ad revenue was up 38% from a year earlier and up 6% from the fourth quarter of 2005, the report said.

The survey further said the increase from the fourth quarter was notable because year-end advertising tends to be heavy to reach consumers during the peak holiday shopping season.