Ad Spend Rose 4.6% in ’06

NEW YORK Ad spending last year rose 4.6 percent to $139 billion, compared to 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Most of the 17 media experienced growth, led by the Internet with a 35 percent gain to $6.7 billion, followed by a 9 percent gain in spot TV in the top 100 markets to $25.5 billion. Also showing strong gains were Spanish-language national TV and outdoor, each of which rose about 8 percent to $2.9 billion and $3.7 billion, respectively.

Other media showing growth were: national Sunday supplements (up 5.6 percent to $983 million), local Sunday supplements (4.6 percent to $60 million), network TV (4.2 percent to $24 billion), national magazines (4 percent to $18.5 billion), local magazines (3.3 percent to $544 million), national newspapers (3 percent to $1.8 billion), national cable TV (2 percent to $23.7 billion) and spot radio (about 1 percent to just over $6 billion).

Media that dropped in 2006 were: business-to-business magazines (-0.2 percent to $4.2 billion), coupons (-0.6 percent to $410 million), spot TV in markets 101 to 210 (-1 percent to $1.2 billion), network radio (-2.5 percent to $1.1 billion) and local newspapers (-3.5 percent to just under $14 billion).

Although ad spending among the major media grew in 2006, budgets among the top 10 advertisers were up only 1 percent to $17.9 billion. Six of the top 10 spent more in 2006, including top advertiser Procter & Gamble (up 1.1 percent), and both telecommunications giant AT&T (up almost 44.5 percent) and Verizon (up more than 16 percent).

Automotive advertisers were mixed. General Motors chopped its budget by 16 percent, as did DaimlerChrysler, which spent 6 percent less. Both Ford and Toyota increased spending by 10.2 percent and 14.2 percent, respectively.

Despite an improvement in spending among certain auto advertisers, in general both categories of automotive (automotive and local auto dealers) were down about 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. In total, the automotive advertisers cut $375 million out of budgets.

The biggest growth categories for 2006 included pharmaceutical (up 15 percent), wireless telephone services (up 10.5 percent) and direct response products (up 10 percent).

Product placements in prime-time network programming also leveled off in 2006 with a decrease in the overall number of placements to 79,701 from 102,793 in 2005. The shift “can be largely attributed to shifts in programming such as the airing of more dramas, which tend to carry less product placements than other program genres,” said Annie Touliatos, director of marketing and strategy for Nielsen Product Placement Service.

Adweek and Mediaweek are units of the Nielsen Co.