Canadian Businesses are Online Advertising laggards

According to Google’s #4 Executive Nikesh Arora,  Canadian businesses are lagging behind their peers in other developed countries when it comes to advertising online.

“It’s not as competitive a business market, which basically suggests that there’s not as many businesses online because they’re not competing for more share amongst each other or there are not enough businesses competing in certain areas,” said Nikesh Arora, Google’s president of global sales operations and business development, during a visit to the company’s Toronto office on Wednesday. “Based on the technological savvy of the market, [Canada] should be in the top quartile.”

Research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada seems to back up Arora’s statement. According to IAB Canada,  online advertising revenue has more than quadrupled over the past five years to $1.6 billion in 2008 but only accounts for 11% of all spending. In the United States and the United Kingdom, between 15 and 20% of all advertising is done online.

Arora believes that Canadian businesses are not using the web’s full potential and that the lag is surprising considering that Canadians are otherwise technologically savvy, have world-class internet and broadband penetration, and are one of the biggest users of Google’s YouTube video website.