A group of major digital advertising firms has opened a franchise of the US-based Interactive Advertising Bureau to promote digital advertising industry through training, stimulating co-operation and other means.

As the second of its kind in Asia, after Singapore , it is registered as a non-profit company and has so far signed up 15 publishers and advertisers as members. The figure is expected to rise to 40 this year.

Bryan Pelz, IAB Vietnam co-founder and adviser to online game firm VNG, said though digital advertising enjoyed a very high growth rate of over 70 percent last year, it represented only 2 percent of total advertising spending.

"We target to raise the rate to 10-15 percent in three to four years, equal to China 's level," he said, but adding the goal could be achieved only if advertising firms fully understood the importance of online advertising and to combine digital technology and traditional advertising.

IAB was set up in the US in 1996 and has helped promote the advertising industry in several countries.

For the first time, digital advertising outranked television in terms of revenue in the UK last year, according to auditing and market research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Total advertising spending in Vietnam last year was worth around 700 million USD./.