Forrester Research B.V. (Nasdaq: FORR), Europe’s leading provider of research and analysis on the Internet and emerging technologies, today releases the first monthly online ad spend data that details the leaders in France’s online advertising market. This completes the full operational launch of Forrester’s Internet AdWatch local-language online ad monitoring tool in northern Europe’s three leading economies — the UK, Germany, and now France.

In August, all online advertising in France totaled FF40.8 million ([EURO]6.2 million). Lycos was France’s leading online advertiser, spending FF1.2 million ([EURO]183,000), closely followed by Spray at FF1.2 million ([EURO]180,000) and third-placed LiberySurf, which spent FF1.1 million ([EURO]160,500).

“France’s online ad market trails the more mature UK and German markets, which totaled [EURO]12.3 million and [EURO]8.8 million respectively in August,” said William Reeve, group director of data products at Forrester Research B.V. “However, in many respects, trends in French online advertising are more similar to those in the UK than in Germany. For instance, the spending spread of the Top 10 online advertisers in France and the UK is more evenly balanced than the disproportionate German market: This is dominated by Bertelsmann, which spent twice as much as the second highest spender, contributing more than 7% of the whole market.”

Media and entertainment was the largest French online advertising sector in August, accounting for 34% of the overall market at FF13.8 million ([EURO]2.1 million). The second biggest sector, consumer goods, generated FF10.2 million ([EURO]1.6 million). Advertising from business products and services came in at FF4.4 million ([EURO]672,300), and financial services drove FF4.4 million ([EURO]666,000) — both accounting for a further 22% of the total French online advertising market.

Reeve continued, “The full operational launch of Internet AdWatch is an important development for media owners and advertisers in France. Internet AdWatch is the only local-language tool available that provides marketers with such a comprehensive insight into their competitors’ ad strategies in Europe’s three largest economies — either separately in France, Germany, and the UK, as combinations of two, or as a comprehensive three-market package.”

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 recreation 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 elect to receive weekly email Campaign Alerts with hotlinks to their placements.