Online Ads Surge in Tepid Spending Environment

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arrowup3.jpgADOTAS – The advertising industry managed to squeak by with a 0.6% year-over-year growth for the first quarter of this year, according to a study released by TNS Media Intelligence. (Hey, at least advertising isn’t contracting!)

“Enduring concerns about economic conditions and consumer spending behavior continued to cast a pall over the advertising market during the first quarter,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at TNS media intelligence, in a written statement. “After a hopeful start to the year, the pace of ad spending slowed perceptibly during March and early figures from the second quarter indicate little immediate or sustained improvement in the core ad economy.”

Many industry observers have been predicting a standout year for advertising despite the country’s economic blues – and it looks like their predictions could still prove to be correct, in some sectors at least. While smaller media saw the biggest jump in numbers (Sunday magazines saw 17.1% growth and Network Radio witnessed gains of 12%) there’s good news for online advertising as well. And interactive advertising grew by 8.5%.

The top 10 spenders shelled out $4,425.5 million, a 1.6% increase from last year, twice the industry average. Procter & Gamble maintained its position as the largest advertiser with $836.4 million in spending, a robust 15.8% increase versus a year ago. The company aggressively expanded advertising support across its portfolios of personal care and household cleaning products. PepsiCo vaulted into the Top 10, posting a 39.5% increase to $334.4 million on higher spending for the Gatorade brand line.

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