While online advertising spend fell slightly in key European markets in December 2000 from the previous month, Forrester Research B.V. (Nasdaq: FORR) predicts a 74% increase in European outlays on online advertising. Forrester expects online ad spending to reach €1.2 billion, up from €690 million in 2000.

“The first half of 2001 will be relatively quiet, but by the second half, growth in spending on online advertising will pick up,” commented Marc Cohen, European AdWatch Manager. “Although Dot Coms are tightening their belts, traditional advertisers are expected to step further into the market.

“In general, there is this virtuous circle going on. More people are going online, more people are getting comfortable with spending money online, and more companies are getting money via online channels, so they can spend more on online marketing.”

According to Forrester’s Internet AdWatch™ Spending Monitor, in December last year online ad spend across all of Europe’s major markets totaled €38.8 million. Spending on online advertising in the UK fell to €17.3 million from
€17.7 million in November, while in Germany, spending fell to €12.6 million from €12.8 million the previous month. In France, a less mature market for Internet advertising, spending rose slightly to €8.6 million, up from €8.3 million in November.

The consumer-goods category saw the most spending on online advertising in December, rising to 25% of the total spent in the United Kingdom and 24% in Germany. In Germany, TooJoo, an online gift shop, spent the most on online advertising at €381,000. In Britain, Virgin Group led with €349,000, and in France, Banque Nationale de Paris was the biggest spender, with an outlay of €194,000. Banque Nationale de Paris maintained its rank after spending the most on online advertising the previous month, while in the UK, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group had been in first place in November, and Germany’s top spender was Primus Software.

“In contrast to the lower overall online adverting spending, November and December 2000 showed increases in the number of companies advertising, but they were getting lower rates for each ad purchased,” Cohen added. “Also, many new advertisers were spending small amounts as they were making first-time forays onto the Internet over Christmas.

“Traditionally, spending by media and entertainment companies has been the biggest category, particularly over the summer months. Banks and information technology companies were prominent among the biggest spenders in online advertising, while more retailers were online targeting Christmas shoppers.”

Internet AdWatch tracks and values the online activities of more than 15,000 advertisers across more than 650 sites in France, Germany, and the UK, and can be accessed in three distinct yet complementary ways. Internet AdWatch Online is a simple Web-interfaced desktop application that enables clients to search more than 6 million observations of online advertising — archived to May 1998 — with the facility to examine their competitors’ online ad campaigns in great detail, through analysis of creative work and the
re-creation of media schedules. The Internet AdWatch Spending Monitor is an invaluable way to size the total online ad market and the split between product sectors on a monthly basis, through a list of the top advertisers and campaigns with their estimated values. Finally, Internet AdWatch customers can receive weekly email Campaign Alerts with hotlinks to their placements.