U.S online advertising jumped 26 percent to a record $4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2007, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said Wednesday.

The online advertising sector has seen strong growth in recent years as marketers divert ad budgets away from newspapers and television.

The continued growth of online ad revenues clearly illustrates marketers' increased comfort with the extraordinary vitality and accountability of this medium, IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg said in a statement.

The growth in online advertising has spurred a consolidation in the industry, with online services giants making significant acquisitions of advertising companies in recent months.

Last month Microsoft agreed to buy the online advertising company aQuantive Inc. for $6 billion. In April, Google said it would pay $3.1 billion for Doubleclick Inc.

The IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers' survey covered advertising on Web sites, email, and other online services.