TV Ad Gains Propel Overall 5.1% Q1 Ad Spend Rise

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Total U.S. ad spending rose 5.1% in the first quarter, led by a 22% surge in spot-TV sales, according to Kantar Media data.

The ad-spend total rose to $31.3 billion in 2010's first three months, the marketing data firm reported. That's the first quarterly ad spending rise since the first quarter of 2008 and the biggest quarterly gain since Q1 2006 as the ad market experienced a long-awaited rebound.

Of 19 media types tracked, 13 saw gains in the first quarter.

The spot-TV spike -- fueled by automotive, retail, financial service and political categories -- has propelled current spending volume in that ad genre to a level last seen in 1997, Kantar Media said.

Network TV expenditures, boosted by the Winter Olympics, gained 11.6%.

Cable TV rose 8.2% and Spanish-language TV gained 7.2%, selling more ad time and enjoying increased demand among across a broad range of packaged goods and retail advertisers, the firm said.

National spot radio rose 19%, paced by higher spending from the telecom, financial service and auto categories.

Local radio (up 4.6%) and network radio (up 3%) gained, too.

Print media, on the whole, continued to lag the overall ad market. Consumer magazine spending fell 3.9% from a year ago while local newspapers dropped 5.6%.

Sunday magazine expenditures jumped 13.7% and national newspapers increased 9.1%, primarily from gains at The Wall Street Journal, Kantar Media said.