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'News: UK Commercial Radio Angry Over Claim That 2004 Internet Revenues Exceeded Radio Sector's' by Grant Goddard

News story about the UK commercial radio sector's anger that UK internet revenues were reported to be in excess of UK commercial radio revenues in 2004, written by Grant Goddard in May 2005 for The Radio Magazine.

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'News: UK Commercial Radio Angry Over Claim That 2004 Internet Revenues Exceeded Radio Sector's' by Grant Goddard

  2. 2. News: UK Commercial Radio Angry Over Claim That 2004 Internet Revenues Exceeded Radio Sector's Page 2 ©2005 Grant Goddard A truce has been called between the radio and internet industries, following a war of words over recently released data that showed internet advertising revenues to have overtaken radio advertising revenues. The Interactive Advertising Bureau [IAB] and Price Waterhouse Coopers had released figures that showed online advertising to have grown to £653m, 3.9% of total UK advertising spend during 2004, eclipsing radio’s share of 3.8%. The statistics revealed a 60% year-on-year increase in online advertising and a four-fold increase since 2000. "There's a massive cultural shift going on forcing a change in consumer and advertiser behaviour," said IAB chief executive Guy Phillipson. Press reports trumpeted the news with headlines such as “Online ad spend trumps airwaves” [BBC]. The Radio Advertising Bureau [RAB] reacted angrily to the report, saying that the figures were “not a true and fair reflection of the internet's scale as an ad medium.” RAB operations director Michael O'Brien said the IAB figures were distorted by the inclusion of 'paid-for-search' and recruitment ads: "While these revenues are clearly income to internet businesses, we don't feel they should necessarily be considered display advertising." A few days later, the IAB’s Phillipson waved the white flag by calling for collaboration between the two media. "There is good evidence that radio and online are complementary media," he said. "You can do lots of things while you listen to the radio and one of them is to go online." He added that he hoped the two bureaux would not be sidetracked into a row: "I don't think marketing directors pre-occupy themselves too much with which medium gets what sort of ad revenue." Ironically, the IAB chairman is Richard Eyre, former Capital Radio chief executive.  New figures published by the Advertising Association showed commercial radio taking 6.8% of the display advertising market in 2004, up from 6.7% the previous year. The RAB’s Michael O’Brien commented: "2004 was a very challenging market so we are pleased to see commercial radio continuing to grow share across the twelve-month period." [First published in 'The Radio Magazine' as 'Ceasefire Between Radio And Internet', #682, 4 May 2005] Grant Goddard is a media analyst / radio specialist / radio consultant with thirty years of experience in the broadcasting industry, having held senior management and consultancy roles within the commercial media sector in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Details at