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What does it say when UK advertisers spend more on web than TV?

The WSJ reported yesterday that the percent of UK advertising dollars spent on internet advertising has surpassed those spent on TV advertising. Surprised? I was. That’s a huge difference from the US where reportedly internet advertising still captures only 13% of f all advertising dollars.

So what does that say about their marketing efforts? Is it a result of the mediocre quality and limited opportunities to advertise during UK television programming? Or is it just because their advertisers have become savvier about their spend?

Internet advertising represents a much more targeted opportunity to pursue eyeballs. While you may get several hundred television stations from your cable or satellite provider, that same fat line is bringing you jillions of internet advertising opportunities. The question is how accurate and successful you can be with those internet ad dollars.

For reaching mainstream consumers, Yahoo, Google and Bing do a good job of allowing you to buy search sensitive advertising opportunities as well ads within their contextual network. Facebook is quickly gaining in this playground, too, but what about the other seemingly limitless advertising opportunities alongside non search related sites where display ad opps are available by the month or the click?

Some of these are fantastic (and cheap) opps for reaching a difficult to target market but the effort is still significantly less sophisticated that the decision making model developed by the big agencies for TV. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow the ways of English advertisers. Heck, be a pioneer. I’m sure by this time next year that 13% will have ramped up significantly. But be wary. The science behind it is still developing and you don’t want to find that you’ve bought a big ticket campaign and wasted your previous advertising dollars on something that isn’t bringing the promised results.

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