Spending on Internet advertising continued to grow for the first three quarters of 1998, with the top 25 industries spending 86.7 percent more than they did during the same period last year, said InterMedia Advertising Solutions, New York, an information provider of advertising occurrences and expenditures on the Internet, in its third quarter InterWatch report. Leading all industries were computers and software. They accounted for nearly half of all Internet advertising (47.3 percent at $321 million). With regards to growth in the amount of spending, medicine (up 403 percent) and government and organizations (up 351 percent) led the way, with direct response companies (up 273 percent ) and retail (up 163 percent) following them up.
The report showed that the Internet now represents 1.5 percent of overall ad budgets, up from .74 of 1997. The biggest spenders of the first nine months last year were Microsoft with $25.5 million, an increase of 7.8 percent, IBM with $21 million representing, an increase of 77 percent, and Excite with $8.8 million. The InterWatch report tracks more than 400 industries.