Internet boom boosts Spain ad spend

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MADRID -- Spain's advertising spending was up in 2006, with Internet ad revenues soaring 33%, according to a study released Wednesday by Spanish ad market experts Adex.

Total real advertising spending was estimated at €14.59 billion ($19 billion) in 2006, a 6.2% rise from the previous year

All areas of advertising grew, with the notable exception of advertising in movie theaters, which dropped 5.3% to €40 million ($53 million).

Thematic channels saw revenues climb a spectacular 42% to €44.5 million ($59 million), while Internet advertising jumped to €160.3 million ($212 million).

Conventional media accounted for 49% of the total, with unconventional media growing its share by 5.3% to €7.4 billion ($9.8 billion) and 51% of all media outlet spending.

Television still leads conventional media spending and saw revenues increase 7.8% last year to €3.1 billion ($4.1 billion), according to Infoadex. The study showed regional channels losing ground as national broadcasters snagged more of the pie. Free-to-air commercial channel Telecinco earned €953.7 million ($1.26 billion) or 5.8% more than the previous year, while rival private channel Antena 3 earned €837.4 million ($1.1 billion).

Newcomers Cuatro and La Sexta -- launched in June 2006 -- earned €186.6 million ($246 million) and €48.2 million ($63.7 million), respectively.

Spanish telecom titan Telefonica was the country's leading advertiser in conventional media, investing €175 million ($232 million) in 2006.
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