Italian media enjoy strong ad sales

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Traditional ad spending in Italy rose 16.1 percent year on year in 2000, led for the second consecutive year by a big rise in radio ad buys. The total ad spend for the year was worth $7.1 billion, a survey sponsored by a media association showed.

Among sectors, TV ad sales increased 15.3% and print ad buys surged 15.9 percent compared to 1999. But radio ads set the pace, rising 35 percent from the previous year.

"We are seeing a continuation of the trend toward cost-effective advertising that reaches very specific market segments," says Mario Trilini, a Rome media consultant and a former ad buyer. "In many markets, that means radio."

Despite the surge in the value of radio ad buys, the largest outlet for advertising remained Mediaset, the TV company controlled by billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister. The survey showed that Mediaset, which controls three of the country's four leading TV networks, collected $2.5 billion in TV ad revenue in 2000, an increase of 15 percent compared with 1999.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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