A survey of advertisers spending has found the UK to be the first major economy where the internet has drawn more advertising revenue than television.
Online spending grew 4.6% to £1.752 billion in the first half of 2009, while TV spending shrank 16.1% to £1.639 billion, according to the study by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The BBC reports overall advertising fell 16% compared with the same period in 2008, according to the study.
E-mail campaigns, classified adverts, display ads and search marketing are all classed as online advertising.
The recession had accelerated the migration of advertising spending to digital technology - from more traditional media such as print, radio and television advertising to online, according to the report.
However, Thinkbox, the marketing body for the main UK commercial television broadcasters, said the comparison was unfair.
It said online marketing spend is made up of many things including e-mail, classified ads, display ads and, overwhelmingly, search marketing, which should be judged individually, and it was meaningless to sweep them into one overall figure.