TV ads up slightly in Italy

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ROME -- Italy's television advertising market grew slightly in 2006 compared to the previous year, the first time in four years that spending for television ads increased from one year to the next, according to statistics from Nielson Media Research released Friday.

The television ad market was worth €4.7 billion ($6.1 billion) last year, slightly higher than €4.7 billion ($6.1 billion) in 2005.

Ads related to the soccer World Cup -- which Italy won -- more than compensated for the increase, totaling an estimated €190 million ($247 million) alone.

Television ad revenue has been steadily slipping in Italy in recent years, as satellite channels and pay-per-view options have eroded traditional television's viewer base.

The ad market as a whole showed a healthier increase in 2006, rising 2.6% to €8.7 billion ($11.3 billion). The fastest growing sector was Internet advertising, which rose 44% year on year to €197.6 million ($256.9 million). Print ads grew the least, increasing even less than TV ads.
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