According to the new "Alternative Advertising & Marketing Outlook 2006" report from PQ Media, US spending on alternative media strategies was up 16.4% in the first half of 2006 to reach an estimated $53.37 billion.

Furthermore, PQ Media estimates that spending on alternative media will accelerate in the second half of 2006, as segments like branded entertainment marketing and entertainment advertising generate higher growth. In fact, the firm estimates that overall alternative media spending will grow by 18.5% to $115.77 billion for full-year 2006.

The double-digit growth in 2006 follows a strong 2005, when total alternative media spending rose 18.8% to $97.66 billion.

"Brand marketers are accelerating the shift of media dollars away from conventional to newer media using digital technology to reach youth and influential demographics," said Patrick Quinn, president of PQ Media. "Advertisers stated that even though many alternative media tactics are still unproven, they hold strong promise for delivering better ROI, reaching target markets and engaging consumers."

The alternative advertising sector is forecast to grow 19.9% for full-year 2006, driven primarily by online advertising, while alternative marketing is expected to increase 17.6% for the year, fueled mainly by mobile and interactive marketing.

"It’s worth noting that PQ Media measures online advertising using broader categories than most other researchers," said David Hallerman, an eMarketer Senior Analyst. "That helps explain why the firm’s $17.55 billion estimate for 2005’s online ad spend is about $5 billion more than, say, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s figure."

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