Nielsen: Ad Spend Up 5%

NEW YORK Advertising spending grew slightly more than 5 percent in the first half of the year across major measured media, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the ad tracking service of Nielsen Media Research.

Most of the 15 reported media showed gains, with the Internet leading the way, up nearly 50 percent, followed by Spanish-language TV, up 22 percent, due largely to World Cup coverage.

“Ad spending continues to build in strength when compared to last year, although not at the levels projected by many at the beginning of the year,” said Jeff King, managing director of Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Nielsen, like Adweek, is a unit of VNU.

Also up were: local magazines (10.5 percent), national newspapers (6.5 percent), network TV (6.5 percent), outdoor (6 percent), spot TV in the top 100 markets (3.5 percent) and national magazines (more than 3 percent).

Several media showed little or no growth, including spot radio (up 1.5 percent), local newspapers (less than 1 percent), and business-to-business magazines and national cable TV (up .5 percent each).

Ad spending was basically flat in freestanding coupons and spot TV, while network radio suffered a 3.5 percent decline.

Spending among the top 10 advertisers grew 3 percent to nearly $9.8 billion, with six advertisers increasing budgets. AT&T, due to a rebranding of the company, increased its spending by 50 percent. Of the four auto advertisers in the top 10, General Motors, the nation’s top advertiser, and DaimlerChrysler cut spending by 3 and 13 percent, respectively, while Ford and Toyota increased spending, by 7 and 12 percent.

Expenditures by auto factory and dealer associations increased 1 percent, while local auto dealers cut spending by 4 percent.

Nielsen’s product placement tracking service reported a drop in the number of occurrences for the first half of the year with The Contender leaving network TV. Last year, the show had 7,521 product placement occurrences. This year, Fox’s American Idol holds the top spot with 4,086 occurrences, followed by NBC’s The Apprentice with 1,831.

Coca-Cola by far was the top brand making use of product placement with 3,233 occurrences. Nike Apparel was second with 625 instances.