The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers on Monday reported that Internet advertising in the first quarter of the year reached its highest level since the companies began their tracking in 1996. Revenues reached about $2.3 billion, up 38.9 percent compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

Such growth set the stage for the online ad agencies and tool vendors selling their wares and services at the show. AD:TECH organizers are expecting a total of 3,500 to 4,000 attendees at the show, of which 500 are exhibitors.

One new entry to online advertising is Dotomi Inc., a Boston-based company that unveiled at AD:TECH on Monday a new approach for delivering personalized ad messages to Web users.

Called Dotomi Direct Messaging, it allows marketers to send opt-in messages directly to a specific segment of consumers from within banner ad space, said John Federman, the company’s president and CEO.

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