For all the predictions of dotcom gloom and doom, the UK's on-line advertising sector overtook cinema advertising last year.

The data compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the Internet Advertising Bureau shows that the UK did not follow the US internet advertising market into downturn.

Figures from Forrester Research shows advertising revenue in 2000 reached $223m (£155m), compared with an estimated $184m (£128m) spent in cinemas, according to the Cinema Advertising Association. Online advertisers spent a total $71.2m (£49.4m) online during the fourth quarter of 2000, up from £41.9m in the previous three months.

PwC said that there was no evidence yet that spending online had dropped in line with the fall in conventional media. "There was a slowing, but I think people might be surprised by the strength of the figures last year, particularly when the US market was contracting," said Paul Pilkington of PwC.