So, spending on online advertising has finally overtaken spending on TV advertising. The BBC this morning reports on research carried out by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The switch was always expected to happen, but the recession has caused advertising to move online and away from TV, radio and print more quickly than might have otherwise been expected.
Technology firms have been found to make the largest ad spend with about 19 percent of spending, with telecoms, finance and entertainment following on.
TV advertisers look like they are coming out fighting with industry body Thinkbox saying that online and TV advertising aren’t in competition but are complementary.
Well, I’m no economist. But it seems to me that while in a theoretical world, that might well be true, in a world where there is £x to spend on advertising and the advertisers want to get the greatest return for their investment, they want to highly target their ads. Choosing to advertise shoes on a Web site that is about shoes seems more efficient than advertising them on a medium which is going out to potentially everybody i.e. TV.
And I suspect that even if a shoe ad is sandwiched into a TV programme about shoes, the targeting is less good on TV than online due to the fact that people are more likely to have sought out a Web site and flopped in front of a TV prog.
Factor in ad production cost and it seems to me it is a no-brainer where the £x should be spent.
The real point isn’t that the line has been crossed, but what this means for the future of commercial TV and whether its demise is closer than we think.