Online ads grew 38% in Q4 2003, paid search ads grew 123% in 2003

The Internet Advertising Bureau said last month that U.S. online ad spending surged 38% in Q4 2003 YTY, to $2.2 billion. The trade group says it was the fastest growth rate of any quarter since it started tracking online ad sales in 1996, including the dot-boom years of 1998-2000. The Big 3 broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, reported last month that they had just a 1.5% gain in prime-time ad sales inQ4 2003 YTY. The IAB survey, conducted jointly with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said U.S. online ad spending jumped 20% in 2003 to $7.2 billion. David Hallerman, an analyst for research firm eMarketer, says the number of paid search ads soared by 123% in 2003.