FIRST QUARTER AD SPENDING WAS UP

CMR Cites 0.4% Rise Over 2001

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The 2002 Winter Olympics and an early Easter are credited with a slight increase in U.S. consumer ad spending during the first quarter, according to figures from Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

CMR numbers show that consumer spending increased 0.4% to $23.5 billion, from $23.4 billion in 2001, aided by a 6.6% increase in network TV spending and 9.3% increase in newspaper spending. Monthly year-over-year totals were down 6.6% in January, up 8.3% in February and down 0.2% in March.

9.3% Internet increase
The internet showed a drop of 12.4% for the quarter, but the medium turned positive in March, with an increase of 9.3% over 2001.

The network TV surge came mainly through a 40.4% spending increase in February -- the month of the Olympic games -- and newspapers saw 15% year-over-year growth in March, thanks to the Easter holiday, which fell in April last year.

Strong radio results
But some media showed continued strengthening trends: Network radio showed increased percentage gains monthly for a quarterly year-over-year gain of 14%, and national spot radio turned positive in March to show a quarterly gain of 9.5%.

On the down side, TV syndication was down 12.6% for the quarter, and cable TV, which had strong monthly gains throughout 2001, was down 13.8%.

Magazines and national newspapers continued their slump, showing drops of 9.6% and 8.5% for the quarter, respectively.

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