Online advertising was one of the fastest growing mediums in 2003, according to a new survey.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of Interactive Advertising Bureau members shows that online advertising reached record levels in the first half of 2003, recording a spend of £151.6m - which accounts for two per cent of the total advertising market.
The figures strengthen the medium's claim to have joined the mainstream.
The audit values the UK internet market at £266.5m for the 12-month period from July 2002 to June 2003.
The second quarter of 2003 saw marketers gravitate towards the internet, making it the biggest single quarter for the medium with revenues of £81.3m - a growth rate of 15.6% year on year.
"It's staggeringly good, but it's not that surprising. This is no dotcom blip," said Charlie Dobres, co-founder of online media agency I-Level.
"It's turned into a grown-up, measurable medium just as other mediums like television's Barb and radio's Rajar squabble over measurement figures."
This year web ads are set to top £300m, more than £100m up on 2002, according to the IAB.
"The internet has become a mainstream media channel and these record-breaking levels are a watershed that cannot be matched by any other media," said Danny Meadows-Klue, chief executive of the IAB.
The rapid growth in online advertising is in stark contrast to the advertising industry as a whole.
According to the Advertising Association, total expenditure fell in real terms by 1.5% for the first quarter of 2003 and by 1.8% for the second quarter of 2003 compared to the same period a year earlier.
The Association of Online Publishers and the IAB have agreed to work together to promote the benefits of online advertising.