However, while ad spending was up, total ad pages were down 5.6% in February.
In the first two months of the year, ad spending was up 2.8%, while ad pages were down 5.6%.
Gordon Hughes, president-CEO of the ABM, said the industry is on track to meet projections of 3% growth in the first quarter, but added the war in Iraq may delay growth until the second quarter. The association is projecting ad spending growth of 3% for this year.
In February, the category showing the greatest growth in ad spending was automotive, which was up 66.8% from the same period last year. Retail rose 17.7%, and drugs and toiletries were up 16.8%.
Telecommunications continues to be the hardest-hit sector, with ad spending down 50.2% in February from a year earlier.