Irish companies spent €491m on digital advertising last year

12 Apr 2018

From left: Suzanne McElligott, IAB Ireland; Shane Nolan, IAB Ireland; and Dervla McCormack, PwC. Image: IAB

The latest IAB-PwC Online Ad Spend study exemplifies the fast pace of change in advertising.

Irish companies spent 10pc more on digital advertising in 2017 than the previous year, according to the most recent Online Ad Spend study from IAB and PwC.

Firms spent €264m on mobile advertising, while desktop ads received funding of €227m – a total of €491m.

What are the most popular choices?

Paid-for search advertising grew by 12pc in 2017 and remains the dominant digital format with a 50pc share of total digital ad spend – a massive €245m.

Display advertising grew by 7pc, representing €212m and a 43pc share of total digital ad spend.

Classified advertising also performed well last year, boasting a 22pc year-on-year growth rate and a 7pc total online ad spend share.

Within the combined desktop and mobile display ad category, social media spend hit €123m, up from 2016’s figure of €114m. Video advertising shot up massively by 46pc to reach the €68m mark.

Native advertising formats excluding social media grew by 37pc, showing a major spike in interest in the format, attributed to the growth in premium content controlled by publishers and discovery or recommendation units.

Finance and retail are the top spending categories in terms of Irish online advertising spend, with auto following.


Most users now encounter adverts via mobile, and the figures reflect this. 54pc of Irish digital ad spend is now mobile, which is reflected in global trends.

According to the report, Irish users access 7.29 websites per day on mobile, above the global average of 5.82.

Marketers are prioritising digital

Company marketing departments are taking online spending seriously. 50pc of Irish marketers with budgets in excess of €1m predict they will allocate up to 30pc of their budget to digital, while a further 10pc will spend more than half on digital in 2018.

Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland, added: “The 10pc growth recorded in digital ad spend in 2017 is a very positive performance in a challenging year for the Irish and global advertising market.

“2018 will see an enhanced digital advertising experience for Irish advertisers and users,” she predicted.

Nuala Nic Ghearailt, a manager at PwC, added: “We have seen growth in more interactive and personalised forms for advertising in 2017. Video advertising, social media, as well as some key forms of native advertising, experienced strong growth. Paid search is still a very important format and commands 50pc of the Irish digital advertising marketplace.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects