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Growth in display advertisements across all media sectors was fairly small in the first quarter of 2008 versus the same quarter last year, according to new data from TNS Media Intelligence. Still, the 0.6 percent growth is still just that, growth, which is always welcomed in a time of overall economic uncertainty.

Much of this growth was led by the Internet. Display advertising, which doesn’t include search advertising (the lucrative field that Google and others make their billions in), grew 8.5 percent on the Internet compared to last year. Compare this with television’s 1.8 percent growth, magazine’s 0.8 percent growth, radio’s 4.5 percent decline and newspaper’s 5.2 percent decline and the Internet looks downright sterling.

It’s important to put this growth in context. The Internet’s 8.5 percent increase is actually well off the double-digit growth its seen in the past. So Internet display advertising is still growing at a healthy clip, but not nearly as fast. Of course it’s also important to realize that as a market gets larger, as online display advertising has, it’s harder to maintain large percentage growth.

There appears to be a lot of room for continued growth for the Internet as well. Display advertising spending on the Internet came in at $2.9 billion in the first quarter this year, that is well behind television ($15.9 billion), magazines ($6.8 billion) and newspapers ($6.0 billion), according to numbers extrapolated by TechCrunch.

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