Ad Spending Up 2.8% From Last Year in First Half of 2011

Mid-sized advertisers provided the main source of growth, as the Top 100 stalled overall in Q2.

With the first half of 2011 in the books and the numbers crunched, Kantar Media Reports are declaring a 2.8 percent increase in ad spending over last year. According to their data, advertising expenditures in total grew 3.2 percent from 2010, finishing with $71.5 billion.

“Advertising grew at a slower rate in the second quarter, contributing to speculation about the durability of an advertising recovery that is into its second year,” said Jon Swallen, Kantar Media’s senior vice president of research. “Key ad spend indicators are painting a mixed picture. On one hand, a majority of media types actually improved their performance from Q1 to Q2. On the other, spending growth for the Top 100 advertisers stalled in Q2 and the ad market became more dependent on the comparatively smaller budgets of mid-sized advertisers as the main source of growth.”

Spending among the 10 largest advertisers was down 0.5 percent with $8,218.4 million compared to last year. Procter & Gamble held its No. 1 ranking, despite a 7.8 percent decrease, spending $1,382.8 million. AT&T was the second largest advertiser with $1,129.5 million spent, a decline of 2.6 percent from last year.

Internet media enjoyed a 12.9 percent jump in display spending, while search investments grew 8.6 percent. On television, cable networks got an 11.8 percent boost, though network TV spending dropped 7.6 percent. Kantar attributes this to a shift from BCS college football bowl games and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament programming from networks to cable, resulting in a large, one-time ad dollar transfer.

Read the complete report here, including a full breakdown by media sector.