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Online Ad Revenue Slowing Despite Hitting Record $17 Billion In First Half Of 2012

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(Reuters) - U.S. Internet ad spending slowed sharply in the first half of the year after a strong recovery in 2011, but still hit a new high of $17 billion as smartphones and tablet devices became more popular.

Data released on Thursday from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers showed the growth slowed to 14 percent from 23 percent in the year-ago period.

David Silverman, a partner at PwC, said 2011 benefited from a comeback after advertisers put the brakes on spending during the recession.

Mobile advertising was a strong gainer, jumping 95 percent to $1.2 billion. Video advertising rose 18 percent to $1 billion.

Search advertising took the biggest share of the spending at $8.1 billion, while display advertising totaled $5.6 billion.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba; Editing by Richard Chang)

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