Advertisers boost outlay by 4.6% in '06

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NEW YORK -- Ad spending jumped 4.6% in 2006 compared with the year before, according to data released Monday by Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The top media sectors in growth percentage were the Internet (up 35%), the top 100 local TV ad markets (9.1%) and Spanish-language TV and outdoor (8.1% each). Other segments up slightly included national and local Sunday newspaper supplements, network TV, national and local magazines and national newspapers.

National cable TV, spot radio and business-to-business magazine sectors were flat, as were coupons and the 101-200 spot TV markets. Network radio was down 2%, and local newspapers were down 4% compared with 2005.

Procter & Gamble remained the top national advertiser, with spending just about flat. General Motors Corp., the nation's No. 2 advertiser, cut spending 16%, while third-ranked AT&T Inc. boosted spending 44% and Ford Motor Co. was up 10%. The fifth-ranked advertiser, DaimlerChrysler AG, was down 6%.

Nielsen Monitor-Plus said ad spending was $17.9 billion for 2006, just about flat compared with 2005. Six of the top 10 advertisers grew their ad spend. The top advertising category -- automotive/auto dealer associations -- cut its overall spending by 1% last year compared to 2005. Pharmaceutical, the second-biggest category, was up 15%, and local automotive was down 3%. (Nielsen Monitor-Plus is owned by The Nielsen Co., which also owns The Hollywood Reporter.)

Product placements were down 23% last year (79,701 versus 102,793 in 2005), though audio/visual combinations jumped up 10% to 4,912. The top product-placement show was "American Idol," whose 4,086 placements was up 17% from 2005. Coca-Cola was the top product-placement brand.

Political advertising, a big part of last year's increase, was up 24% compared with the previous midterm elections in 2002.
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