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Many major companies in the UK and around the world are now diverting as much as 15 per cent of their overall budgets into web marketing, according to the Institute for Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

Around 11.5 per cent of firms now shell out 15 per cent of their budgets in pursuit of the benefits presented by internet-based advertising strategies, which is more than twice the figure recorded since the height of the dot.com boom.

Companies like ITV, GCap and Trinity Mirror are all seeking to further develop their online services in an effort to make the most of the growth in web marketing sales, reports e-consultancy.

Overall growth in marketing budgets is being attributed to the rise in investment in online advertising opportunities.

President of the IPA, David Pattison, is quoted as saying: "The growth is driven predominantly by direct marketing and internet advertising at the expense of the more established media sectors, continuing the trends that we have seen over the last 18 months."

A UK advertising, media and marketing trade body, the IPA represents over 250 leading agencies across the country.