AD COUNCIL AUDIT SHOWS '96 DONATED MEDIA TIME GREW

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After complaining about the lack of support for its public service announcements, the Advertising Council now says overall support is up-except on network TV and outdoor.

Issuing 1996 numbers, the Ad Council said it benefited from $928 million in donated media time last year, up 30% from 1975. However, while reporting major increases in time provided in radio and new media (the Web), and double-digit growth in newspapers, the business press and local TV, the Ad Council said it lost share for outdoor, down 23% to $28.7 million, and network TV, though it provided no numbers for that category.

That loss had prompted former Ad Council chairman Alex Kroll to urge the TV networks to devote 1 minute of time a night to PSAs. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt picked up the plea in a number of speeches.

AVOID FCC MANDATE

Ad Council President Ruth Wooden said that while the group would still like to see the networks make that kind of commitment, it doesn't believe it should be mandated by the FCC.

"I believe that we would have a better chance on a voluntary basis," she said.

The Ad Council said donated radio time rose 51% to $542.3 million; cable 6% to $197.3 million; spot TV 10% to $83 million; new media 123% to $29.5 million; consumer magazines 2% to $18.6 million; newspapers 16% to $14.9 million; and the

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