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Internet ad sales still rising

Online advertising up again in the second quarter with retail ads and search being the highlights.

Sales of Internet ads were up more than 25 percent in the second quarter from the same period a year ago, to $5.1 billion, according to a new study from the Internet Advertising Bureau.

That was up from $4.9 billion in the first quarter of this year. The $10 billion for the first half of this year was a new record and represents a 26 percent rise from the first half of last year.

The second-quarter highlights were consumer-related ads, particularly retail and automotive. Search advertising remained the largest component, followed by banner ads and then classifieds.

There has been some concern that the country's mortgage crisis would hurt the online sales industry, given that lenders and other financial services firms are big online advertisers. But so far, we're not really seeing that. Financial services ads were the second strongest in second-quarter sales at 15 percent of the total, down only 1 percent from same period a year ago.

The Internet Advertising Bureau sponsored the report, and it was conducted by the New Media Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers.