U.S. Advertising Spending Rose 6.5% to $131 Billion in 2010

TV, Internet and auto expenditures were among the catalysts.


NEW YORK -- U.S. advertising spending rose 6.5 percent in 2010 to $131.1 billion driven by such factors as a rebounding auto sector, the mid-term elections and a strong TV and Internet ad market, research firm Kantar Media said Thursday.

Fourth-quarter ad expenditures were up 7 percent over the year-ago period.

“The feel good headline is the ad economy grew by 6.5 percent in 2010,” said Jon Swallen, senior vp research at Kantar Media North America. “The more comprehensive assessment is that increased spending has not benefited all sectors equally. While television media have recouped their losses from the 2009 advertising downturn, several other large segments are still 15 to 20 percent below their 2008 peaks.”

Spot TV ad spending got a 24.2 percent boost in 2010, making it the biggest percentage gainer, while network TV rose 5.3 percent, and cable TV recorded a 9.8 percent gain, according to Kantar Media. Total TV spending jumped 10.3 percent.

Spanish-language TV spending rose 10.7 percent helped by the soccer World Cup.

Internet display ad expenditures climbed 9.9 percent compared to the prior year, and radio advertising also increased, Kantar said.

Meanwhile, local newspaper ads were an area of decline last year.

Spending among the 10 largest advertisers in 2010 reached $16.3 billion, up 3.7 percent, according to Kantar. For the eighth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $3.1 billion, which amounted to a 17.7 percent jump.

Entertainment giants also made the top 10 advertiser list as News Corp. came in fifth with a 10.5 percent increase to $1.37 billion and Time Warner ranked seventh with $1.19 billion, down 0.5 percent.

The Kantar data also shows that auto was the biggest ad category in both dollar volume and growth rate last year, growing 19.8 percent to $13.0 billion.

Telecom and local services rounded out the top three ad categories, with movie studios not in the top 10.