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Online Ad Spending in Latin America Predicted to Hit $51 Million

Online advertising spending in Latin America will reach $51 million this year and jump to $1.6 billion by 2004, outpacing the global growth rate, according to an Argentine Internet consultant.

The lion's share will go to Brazil with $30 million and Mexico with $11 million -- with Argentina a distant third at $2.5 million, Alejandro Prince of Prince & Cooke in Argentina told Reuters.

Prince said the expected rapid growth is mostly a reflection of the region's somewhat late arrival to the Internet world. "When you get there late, first you represent no portion of the pie. Then, when you start moving, for a while you grow faster in relative terms," he said.

Prince reckoned the region's share of global online advertising could reach 7 to 8 percent before hitting a plateau.

He placed Latin America in a fourth tier in terms of Internet connectivity, behind the United States and Canada, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific countries.