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eMarketer predicts an uptick in online auto ads this year. Auto advertisers will spend 1.9 billion in online advertising in 2006 and almost $2.7 in 2007 — up from 1.4 billion last year, according to the research firm.

Other notable facts cited by eMarketer:

* 70 percent of auto buyers use the Web at some point in the buying cycle.

* Despite online growth, overall ad budgets will remain flat this year (GM has cut $200 million out of its $1.5 billion budget).

* Through November 2005 online auto ad spending increased 12.1 percent, while traditional media spends went down 2.5 percent.

Though we’re talking about national ad campaigns, the numbers are rooted largely in local buying activity and online usage growth among all consumers. Read more here.

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