Advertising Up 5.7% in First Half

The economy may be down, but marketers aren’t holding back on ad budgets. Total advertising rose a healthy 5.7 percent to $63.57 billion at the halfway point of 2010, compared to the same period last year, per Kantar Media. The firm tracks advertising across 19 media segments.

Ad spending among the 10 largest advertisers increased 11.5 percent to $8.35 billion. Among the top 100 advertisers, representing nearly one half of the outlay tracked by Kantar, expenditures rose 9.7 percent to $29.32 billion.

To the relief of TV stations, auto rebounded as the premier category in both dollar volume and growth rate with spending up 23.4 percent to just over $6 billion.

“The rally in ad spending that has emerged from last year’s collapse continued at a steady pace through the second quarter, even as softening economic data on retail sales, spending and employment began to raise concerns about the outlook for consumer activity,” said Jon Swallen, svp, research for Kantar Media.

The momentum in the first half is likely to continue into the third quarter, Swallen said.

With auto coming on strong, television led the first-half rebound, up 10 percent to $32.3 billion across all segments. Spot TV posted the largest gain, up 25.1 percent to $6.6 billion on auto, retail and a robust political year. The World Cup helped lift Spanish-language TV 14.6 percent to $2.3 billion. Network TV increased 7.2 percent to $11.7 billion. Cable TV was up 8.8 percent to $9.7 billion. Only national syndication declined, down 11.7 percent to $1.9 billion.

Radio results were mixed. National spot is going gangbusters, jumping 16.8 percent to $891 million. In contrast, local radio, about 80 percent of the medium’s total revenue, was up 4.2 percent to $2.5 billion. Network radio was basically flat, down 0.4 percent to $438 million.

Magazines also posted mixed results, as a whole inching up 1.6 percent to $11.5 billion.

Segments growing in the first half were consumer magazines, up 1.5 percent to $9.2 billion; Sunday magazines, up 13.1 percent to $864 million; and Spanish-language magazines, up 4.8 percent to $66 million. In the negative column were b-to-b magazines, down 4.2 percent to $1.2 billion and local magazines, down 3.5 percent to $143.5 million.

With the latest expenditure data, newspapers have now suffered declines for 19 consecutive quarters. In the first half, newspapers were down 3 percent to $8.6 billion. National newspapers spending grew 7.1 percent to $1.2 billion, mostly on gains at the Wall Street Journal. Local newspaper spending dipped 4.6 percent to $7.3 billion. Spanish-language newspapers were up 4.8 percent to $127 million.

Display advertising on the Internet grew a healthy 5.3 percent to $4.5 billion. Spending in outdoor was up 2.8 percent to $1.7 billion.

Freestanding Inserts posted the second-largest growth rate. Thanks to increased spending by consumer packaged-goods marketers, FSI spending grew 7.6 percent to just over $1 billion.