U.S. Ad Spending Grew 6.5% in 2010 as Auto Surged and Pharma Hit a Low

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

TV, Online Display Enjoyed Big Gains While Local Newspapers Continued to Falter

Ad Age, 3/16/11

U.S. ad spending grew 6.5% last year to $131.1 billion, according to new data from Kantar Media.

Ad spending had plunged 12.3% in 2009. But 2010 became a story of steady recovery, as a 5.1% first quarter gain — the first quarterly gain in two years — was followed by increases of 5.4% in the second quarter, 8.7% in the third quarter and, most recently, 7% in the fourth quarter.

The recovery, however, continues to pick favorites in the media business.

“The feel-good headline is the ad economy grew by 6.5% in 2010,” Jon Swallen, senior VP for research at Kantar Media North America, said in a statement accompanying the data. “The more comprehensive assessment is that increased spending has not benefitted all sectors equally. While television media have recouped their losses from the 2009 advertising downturn, several other large segments are still 15 to 20 percent below their 2008 peaks.”

Those large segments include radio, which increased 7.6% during 2010 as a whole; magazines, which grew 2.9%; and newspapers, which declined 3.5%, according to Kantar.

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