Japan ad spending seen rising in '04

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[Tokyo] Ad spending in Japan is expected to increase by 2.3% in 2004 after falling for three consecutive years, according to a forecast by Dentsu. The upturn in the world's second-largest ad market began late last year, thanks to aggressive advertising of home appliances such as digital cameras, PCs, mobile phones, flat-screen TV sets and DVD recorders, Dentsu said. The forecast dovetails with the 2.4% growth in 2004 foreseen for Japan by Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia, which does the most authoritative country-by-country ad-spending forecasts. "At last the Japanese economy is starting to show signs of recovery," said Tateo Mataki, Dentsu's president in Tokyo. In 2003, Japan's ad spending dropped by 0.3% to $54 billion, after plummeting by 5.9% in 2003 from the previous year.