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U.K. ad revenue to jump due to TV spend

GroupM report predicts 11.6% hike in TV ad spend

LONDON -- Advertising revenues in Britain are set to jump this year due to a sharp increase in spending on television ads, a leading media buyer predicted on Thursday, forecasting growth of 4.2%.

WPP's GroupM, which had previously predicted an overall flat British market, said on Thursday it now expected TV advertising to be up by almost 11.6%, compared with its earlier prediction of a flat performance for the medium.

National newspapers and radio advertising is also in line for a strong lift as advertisers who held off from spending during the recession return to the market.

GroupM said TV rates for advertising had been extremely low and WPP's chief executive Martin Sorrell has also said he expects a boost this year from the World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa.

The report said advertising had also been boosted by test and regional activity being upgraded to national advertising, more branding and less promotion.

"Even with 11.6% growth in 2010, TV revenue will still be lower than 2008, and so will broad audience prices," the report said. "TV is still cheap."

The main categories driving TV advertising were food, entertainment and the media, retail and finance.

GroupM expects overall revenue growth to remain at double-digit levels into September due to very weak comparatives. It is then forecast to be up around 3% year-on-year each month for the rest of 2010.

It expects 3% overall advertising growth in 2011.