Ad Spend Hits Double-Digit Growth in 2004

NEW YORK Total advertising expenditures for the first nine months of 2004 increased 10.3 percent to $102.4 billion compared to a year ago, and the top 10 advertisers for the first nine months of 2004 spent $12.6 billion, a 6.8 percent increase from the same period in 2003, according to figures released today by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Procter & Gamble led in spending with a total of $2.1 billion in the first nine months, a 6.7 percent increase compared with the same period a year ago. General Motors was second in advertising activity with $1.9 billion in the period (a 14.6 percent improvement), Time Warner was third with a total of $1.3 billion, DaimlerChrysler ranked fourth with $1.2 billion and Verizon Communications placed fifth with $1.1 billion, an increase of 21.8 percent over the first nine months of 2003, according to TNS/CMR.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Ford ($1 billion), Walt Disney ($1 billion), Johnson & Johnson ($933 million), SBC Communications ($916 million) and Altria Group ($836 million).

Almost all of the media measured by TNS/CMR experienced growth through September 2004, with local newspapers leading in total dollar spending at $17.7 billion, up 6.6 percent over the same time period in 2003.

Spending in the automotive, home furnishings/appliances and clothing/department stores categories helped propel the growth in this medium. Network TV, the second highest medium for ad dollars spent, totaled $16.4 billion, up 14 percent, due in part to spending in the third quarter for the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Total TV ad revenue for this year’s Olympics reached $1.55 billion, an increase of $255 million versus the 2000 Sydney games. Network TV accounted for almost $1.8 billion of spending on the Games while $93 million was allocated to cable networks. Local TV stations took in an additional $285 million in ad revenue. On the NBC network broadcasts, a collection of 160 different advertisers aired commercial messages during the 16 days of coverage.

The top five network TV sponsors, ranked on spending, were General Motors, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Visa and AT&T Wireless.

In this presidential election year, $767 million was spent on political and issue advocacy TV messages for the first nine months of 2004.

“Throughout 2004, the advertising market has experienced steady, healthy growth with increases in all three quarters,” said Steven Fredericks, president and CEO of TNS/CMR, in a statement. “In an era characterized by audience fragmentation, advertisers recognize the value of advertising during high-profile, must-see events such as the Olympics.”

—Brandweek staff report