Internet display ads up nearly 15% in Q1

Online banner ads driven by 'strong demand' by automotive, media, travel advertisers

Online banner advertising grew 14.6 percent in this year's first quarter, according to Kantar Media.

Internet ads were among the top-performing ad sectors, as overall advertising grew just 4.4 percent, down from last year's Q1 gain of 5.1 percent. It was the fifth consecutive quarterly year-over-year increase in overall spending, Kantar said.

(Also see: Internet advertising revenue in U.S. sets record in 2010

"Despite slowing growth, there are positive signs," Jon Swallen, senior vice president for research at the Kantar Media Intelligence North America unit of Kantar, said in a statement. "The market expanded by $1.4 billion during the first quarter, which nearly equals the amount of gain at the start of 2010 when the recovery began. In addition, a rising proportion of advertisers are increasing their ad budgets and this indicates spending growth is still rippling outward through the market.”

"Strong demand by automotive, media and travel advertisers" helped fuel the first-quarter growth in online display ads, according to Kantar.

While the Internet was the top-gaining media sector, cable television advertising soared 31.9 percent in Q1 over the previous year. (Television ads overall gained 5.3 percent.)

Newspaper ads were down 2.1 percent in the first quarter, with national newspaper ads dropping 7.5 percent.

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