IAB: 2004 Web Ad Spend Tops $9.5 Bil.

NEW YORK Interactive advertising spending in the fourth quarter exceeded $2.6 billion, according to estimates released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The IAB projected 2004 online ad spending neared $9.6 billion, a 32 percent increase from 2003.

The IAB, which uses PricewaterhouseCoopers to calculate ad spending, released estimates of fourth-quarter and full-year Internet ad spending, based on surveys of the top 15 online advertising sellers. Full results for the quarter and the year will be released in the spring.

The fourth-quarter spending would be the highest for the industry since the IAB began tracking Internet ad spending in 1996. It represents a 24 percent increase from fourth-quarter Internet ad spending in 2003.

The IAB said it overestimated online ad spending in the third quarter. It originally estimated $2.4 billion was spent in the quarter; it now pegs the total at $2.3 billion.