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Nielsen: '07 Ad Spend Up 0.6%

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NEW YORK The Nielsen Co. today reported advertising spending rose only 0.6 percent in 2007, slightly better than the 0.2 percent increase TNS Media Intelligence reported last week.

According to preliminary figures from Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the Nielsen division that tracks ad expenditures across media segments, the Internet posted the most growth, up 18.9 percent, followed by national magazines at about 7.5 percent, outdoor at 7.2 percent, national Sunday supplements at about 5 percent; national cable TV at 2.2 percent and Spanish-language TV, up 1.5 percent.

"Several traditional media outlets are demonstrating resilience and strong growth in an overall softening economy, with outdoor continuing a five-year steady climb in advertising spending," said Annie Touliatos, director of product development and marketing for Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

All other media posted declines: network TV down 1.5 percent, local magazines (-1.7 percent), spot radio (-2.0 percent), spot TV markets 101-210 (-2.6 percent), network radio (-3.9 percent), business-to-business magazines (-4.0 percent), local Sunday supplements (-4.9 percent), spot TV markets 1-100 (-5.1 percent), local newspaper (-7.5 percent) and national newspapers (-7.7 percent).

Spending by the nation's top 10 advertisers was down an average of 4 percent compared to a year ago, with seven out of the 10 cutting budgets last year. The three advertisers that increased spending were Procter & Gamble, up 6 percent to $3.7 billion; AT&T, up 2 percent to $2.2 billion; and Verizon Communications, up 6 percent to $1.7 billion.

The automotive category had the greatest dollar and percentage decline, spending $1.48 billion less than a year ago for an 11 percent drop.

More advertisers are turning to product placement. Nielsen's product placement service showed a 13 percent increase in the number of placement occurrences in prime-time broadcast network programming last year, led by Fox's American Idol, followed by NBC's The Biggest Loser and ABC's Fast Cars and Superstars. In contract, product placement in prime-time cable network programming decreased by 9 percent.

The Nielsen Co. is the parent of Adweek.