U.S. Ad Spending Up 2.4% In Q1

BOSTON Domestic ad spending rose 2.4 percent to $20.3 billion in the first quarter of ’05 compared to the same year-ago period, according to Nielsen Media Research. That figure excludes syndicated TV and spot radio due to a change in methodology from ’04. Spending rose in almost all reported media. First quarter ad spending for the top-10 companies reached $4.8 billion, up more than 8 percent from last year.

Old Navy Chooses StrawberryFrog

NEW YORK Old Navy said StrawberryFrog would create its fall TV and print campaign, with IPG’s Deutsch/LA relegated to teen and interactive efforts. Deutsch was hired in April ’04 as its lead agency, while StrawberryFrog in New York was added two months ago. Client rep Jonathan Finn said Old Navy would now determine assignments on a seasonal basis. Old Navy spent $49 million on measured media in fall ’04, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

ConAgra Drops Grey from Roster

NEW YORK ConAgra Foods is eliminating WPP’s Grey and will re-assign the brands it handled to its other roster shops, the client said. Grey has been on the roster since 1991. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the client spent $25 million in U.S. media last year on the brands handled by Grey.

Sources said Omnicom’s DDB in San Francisco and Publicis’ Leo Burnett in Chicago would be the primary beneficiaries, but a client rep said no decision regarding those accounts had been made.