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Digital ad market to tick higher

Within two years, the U.S. digital advertising market will reach an estimated $8.6 billion in annual sales, thanks to slightly higher spending from ad agencies, according to research released this week from GartnerG2. The Stamford, Conn.-based research service found that ad agencies, despite their past reluctance to spend online, will begin to recommend digital advertising to their major clients more often after this year, helping the figures to tick higher.

GartnerG2 said of the big agencies surveyed that do not advertise online, 10 percent said they will do so after 2003. But for now, the majority of media buyers say that interactive advertising is not as effective as traditional media for brand campaigns, which is where most money is spent. GartnerG2 estimated that interactive ad sales will hit $8.43 billion this year, up from roughly $6 billion last year, according to figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Interactive advertising is defined as online, wireless and interactive TV advertising.