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Friday, June 19, 1998 Published at 02:22 GMT 03:22 UK

Business: The Economy

Internet advertising a billion dollar business?

Revenue from Internet adverts is growing

Advertising on the Internet is showing strong growth and 1998 could be the best year ever. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) the fledgling industry could earn more than $1bn this year.

The figures are based on data from more than 200 online publishers selling advertising, among them Web sites, commercial online services and e-mail providers.

Compared to overall advertising the figures are still peanuts, and the advertised products are closely tied to the Internet audience: 27% of all advertisements are for computers, followed by computer-related products (25%), telecommunications (14%) and financial services (13%).

Nonetheless, Richard LeFurgy, chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau, says the "results for the first quarter of this year underscore the fact that the Internet is now considered an integral component of the overall media mix."

First-quarter spending was about 5% higher than during the fourth quarter spending of 1997, but in a year-on-year comparison a drastic 272% higher than last year.

According to the IAB figures, total online spending on advertising was $907m last year.

The IAB was founded in 1996, and its members are primarily online publishers.

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