B-to-b ad pages decline 3.2% in 2003; spending up slightly

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New York--B-to-b ad pages declined 3.2% in 2003 compared with 2002, according to the Business Information Network figures released Tuesday by American Business Media. Ad spending rose 0.7% from 2002 to an estimated $7.28 billion.

Pages increased 1.2% in December, compared with the same month in 2002, and ad spending rose 3.6%.

“The first quarter of 2003 posted a solid 4.2% growth in ad revenues, but the next three quarters were weaker than we expected,” Gordon Hughes, ABM President-CEO, said in a statement. “For 2004, we are projecting 2% to 4% revenue growth, with most of the growth taking place in the second half of the year.”

Drugs and toiletries ad pages were up 17.6% in December, posting the strongest category gain. Computers suffered the biggest category drop, with ad pages falling 31.6%.

ABM said it has altered the roster of reporting magazines. From January to November 2003, the BIN report included advertising in The Economist, Newsweek, Time and US News & World Report, four magazines that are not traditional trade publications. At ABM's request, TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, which prepares the BIN figures, excluded those titles from the year-end report.

--Sean Callahan

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