U.S. ad spending grew 7% through September to $89.6 billion, according to CMR's tallies. Growth came from categories across the board, with the exception of spot TV, which was down 2.3% year over year.
Several industry observers noted local broadcast media benefited from last year's midterm elections and are faced with difficult comparisons this year. In a report to investors, CIBC World Markets advertising analyst Jason Helfstein noted 2002 political spending "had a more pronounced impact on local advertising than we (and probably most investors) had thought, and we believe this rationalizes much of the current weakness in local advertising."
Broadcast advertising rose 4.5% through September, to $47 billion, led by network TV, which rose 0.4% compared with 2002. Cable TV rose 17%, while syndicated TV was up 16.4%. Radio showed modest gains, with spot up 9.7% and network radio up 3.3%.
Print media spending grew 9.1% through September. Business-to-business magazines remained the weak spot in publishing, but turned positive, up 0.6% year-to-date, after three years of declines. Consumer magazines showed a strong 9.1% growth year-to-date and local newspaper spending picked up by 13.1%.
Newspaper companies have showed mixed results in recent months, with some reporting retail advertisers are migrating to broadcast media, but also showing increased advertising in other categories and an easing of the declines in the key help-wanted category.
Time Warner cuts
Nearly all the top 10 U.S. advertisers increased spending in the first nine months over the same period in 2002, except Time Warner. The troubled media giant-which spends a large portion of its ad budget within its own properties-cut spending by 1.5% to $1.28 billion, which made it the third-largest advertiser.
Procter & Gamble Co. reclaimed the top spot among marketers after increasing its ad spending 30.4%, to $1.97 billion. General Motors Co., which had replaced P&G in the year-ago period, was second with $1.77 billion, up 10.1%.