Mobile advertising grew by 132% to £181.5m in the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year and now accounts for 7% of all digital ad spend.

The figures comes from the latest Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) advertising expenditure report conducted by PwC, which says the increase has been largely fuelled by the increase in smartphone ownership.

In March the IAB reported that mobile ad spend for the whole of 2011 was £203.2m.

Looking at how mobile ad spend breaks down; display, video, SMS and MMS advertising increased like-for-like by 91% to £49.9m while mobile search grew by 152% to £131.6m – accounting for 72% of mobile ad spend.

Overall ad spend online and on mobile increased by 12.6% to a six-month high of £2.59bn in the first half of 2012, up by over £294m from £2.3bn in 2011.

Display and Search

Display ads across the internet and mobile accounted for almost a quarter (23%) of overall digital ad spend, increasing 10% year-on-year to £590.9m from £534.7m.

The report puts the increase down to extra investment in video and social media banners. Digital video advertising increased by 43% to £69.8m from £49m, accounting for 12% of online and mobile display.

Banner ads in social media increased 36% to £134.2m, accounting for 23% of display ad spend, up from 19%.

The FMCG and finance sectors are the biggest spenders in digital display ads, each accounting for almost 16% of ad spend in the first half of 2012.

According to the report paid search saw an increase of 15.9% to £1.5bn compared to £1.3bn in 2011. Overall search accounts for a massive 59% of digital ad spend.

These figures reiterate the fact that mobile advertising is seeing a period of huge growth, and in fact the increase could be slightly larger than these statistics suggest as the figures are like-for-like, meaning that the results only compare companies that submitted figures in 2011 and 2012.

Similarly, it only includes paid-for media so does not include SMS/MMS production and delivery costs or other mobile marketing revenues like app production.