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U.S. Web Ads Exceed Newspaper Print Ads in 2010, eMarketer Says

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Digital advertising in the U.S. will exceed ads in newspapers for the first time in 2010, as marketers follow consumers online and digital messages are viewed as more reliable than print.

Online advertising spending will finish the year with a 13.9 percent increase to $25.8 billion, compared with an 8.2 percent decline to $22.8 billion for print newspaper ads, New York-based researcher eMarketer said today on its website.

"It’s something we’ve seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point," Geoff Ramsey, chief executive officer at eMarketer, said in the statement. "The bad economy has actually accelerated the shift to digital advertising."

Online ads are typically seen as more reliable, he said, because their effectiveness can be measured, whereas print ads “are often difficult to tie to a measurable financial result.”

Newspapers will end 2010 with a 7.8 percent gain in online ad spending, to $3 billion, leaving them with an overall drop of 6.6 percent, to $25.7 billion, eMarketer said.

Total ad spending in the U.S. is expected to increase 3 percent to $168.5 billion in 2010, the research company said. Expenditure on newspaper print ads will continue to decline next year by 6 percent to $21.4 billion, and total online spending will rise 10.5 percent in to $28.5 billion, eMarketer estimated.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Schweizer in London at kschweizer1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net.

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