Australia’s online advertising market has recorded double-digit growth of 18.5% for the full financial year according to figures released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia (IAB) Australia in its ‘Online Advertising Expenditure Report’.

The report, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers has revealed online advertising expenditure in Australia exceeded $1.8 billion for the financial year ending June 2009 and totalled $453 million for the second-quarter of the same year.

Search and directories accounted for 49% of the total, followed by general display with 27% and classifieds at 24%.

“Given the challenges of the past eight months since the GFC impacted on the Australian media economy, any growth is welcome. The latest revenue figures demonstrate the continued confidence marketers and agencies have in online as an advertising medium both when times are good and when times are tough,” explained Paul Fisher, CEO of IAB Australia.

“The continued growth of online advertising expenditure coupled with anecdotal increases in online advertising activity already this quarter, position the industry strongly. With the economy showing early signs of recovery, the online industry is well on track to exceed $2 billion in calendar 2009.”

Finance, computers, communications and motor vehicles sectors continue to be the dominant industries using display advertising, comprising 45.5% of the sector’s spend.

The report also includes data from three new contributors and the full report covers more than 1,000 websites, though the full report is made available to IAB Australia members only.