Last week, Marketing magazine reported that the good times are coming back, with a healthy increase in advertising expenditure predicted for this year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) have joined the chorus, and predict online advertising to hit an all time high of $3 billion by 2012.

The IAB Australia online advertising expenditure report, which is compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, showed a 21 percent overall growth from the 2009 calendar year, accounting to year on year growth of $393.25 million. Total online advertising expenditure for 2010 checked in at an impressive $2.265 billion

"Consumers' voracious appetite for content, services, social connection, search and video online is growing dramatically every year, with Australians watching almost 1 billion videos online each month," says IAB CEO Paul Fisher. As a result we are experiencing a structural shift in Australia and globally in the advertising and marketing industry as advertisers and agencies restructure their organizations and their budgets to better equip themselves to reach, engage and influence their customers online.

"Continued strong year-on-year growth, as well as record quarters, places the industry on a clear trajectory to surpass the $3 billion milestone by the end of 2012," Fisher says. "PwC forecasts continued growth of 15.5 percent through 2011 and 14.3 percent in 2012."

The top spenders are motor vehicle and finance companies, the same sectors reported last year by a very similar positive forecast survey. Retail also showed big growth in the last quarter of 2010, with a massive 66 percent increase in online advertising expenditure reported.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Limited is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia, and aims to increase the share of advertising and marketing dollars that interactive media captures in the marketplace. The 2010 IAB Online Advertising Expenditure Report looks at the advertising spend on more than 1,000 Australian websites.