According to telecoms watchdog, Ofcom, the "network generation" is abandoning TV, radio and newspapers for the internet.

Ofcom's recently released 2005 marketing report documents dramatic changes in UK media consumption from off to on-line.

Apparently 16 to 24 year-olds now watch an hour less TV a day than they did in 2004.

Now you might think this a g ood trend, reducing instances of "square eyes" - that serious and irreversible medical condition known only to mothers.

However, it is a worrying trend for advertising executives and old media owners alike, as brands follow their audience on to the Internet.

Online advertising is attracting significant revenues away from other media and reached £1.3 billion per year in 2 005, compared with £3.8 billion for TV advertising and £0.5 billion for radio advertising revenue.

More is spent advertising online than on the airwaves and, according to another study undertaken by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), is greater than that spent on outdoor advertising - such as billboards and bus sides - too.

Of course, the internet is also an "outdoor" medium now, with WiFi and mobile phone access. The Ofcom report also reveals mobile phone usage was dramatically up with almost a third (31 per cent) of all calls in 2005 made on cellular networks. Many of us are abandoning our land-lines too, with ten per cent of households now not even bothering to have them installed. The main reason for getting a landline is to access the internet via broadband!

It is the broadband revolution that has made the computer a more than equal contender of the television for our leisure time. Young people are ditching traditional media for new technology because of the interactivity and personalisation it allows. They can dictate their own agenda tailored to their own tastes.

Why listen to the radio, when you can create your own personalised podcast?

Why accept a broadcaster's programming choice when you can watch what you like when you like on - or better still, become an instant celebrity by creating your show.

The big problem for advertisers is that the now not-son ew media isn't very advertising friendly, at least not in the traditional interruptive format. Brands are limited to peripheral banner advertising that is easily ignored.

That's why banner advertising online is now a poor r elation to paid-for search-marketing.

According to the IAB almost half of online advertising budgets go on pay-per-click services. That is money Google, Yahoo and MSN take for listing sites in the sponsored sections of their result pages. However, when the twenty-somethings become thirty-somethings, will their media consumption remain Net biased?

I must confess I didn't read a newspaper until I was 30 and finally tuned my car radio from BBC1 to BBC2, never to go back, not long after.

Will the networked generation grow old and start passively consuming grown up old media, so only youth brands need to worry about all this? Somehow, I don't think so. n Chris is managing director of internet consultancy WAA WebXpress. This and other unedited articles can be found at E-mail