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TNS reports advertising spending up in first half

Advertising expenditures in the first half of this year totaled $67.6 billion, up 9.1% from the first half of 2003, according to a new report from TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Internet spending led the growth in the first half, up 25.9%. Cable TV had the second-highest growth, up 18.2%. Other media showing strong growth in the first half were national syndication (17.5%), national newspapers (10.8%) and local magazines (10.2%). Advertising in b-to-b magazines grew 1.5% in the first half of the year. TNS/CMR President Steven Fredericks said overall ad spending is on track to increase 9% to 10% for the year compared with 2003, fueled by the presidential election and the Summer Olympics.

Merrill downgrades ad revenue outlook

Merrill Lynch has downgraded its U.S. advertising revenue growth forecast for this year, from 6.6% to 6.5%, as well as its forecast for next year, which it adjusted downward from 5.5% to 5.2%. The global forecast for 2004 remains at 5.5% growth, while the global 2005 forecast has been cut from 5.0% to 4.9%. Despite the downward adjustments, Merrill said it remains optimistic. "Overall, we remain upbeat on the ad/marketing services sector," the report stated. "We understand the view among investors that U.S. ad expenditures could decelerate next year due to difficult comparisons created by political events and the Olympics this year, but we note that European ad trends should start to improve at that point."

United Business Media CEO plans to step down

United Business Media, the parent company of CMP Media, announced that CEO Clive Hollick plans to leave the company in May 2005. Hollick said in a statement that UBM's board plans to choose a successor by the end of this year. Two key moves under Hollick's watch were the company's acquisition of CMP Media in 1999 and the sale of UBM's TV properties, which gave the company significant cash on its balance sheet.

OPA launches index measuring Web activity

The Online Publishers Association has launched the Internet Activity Index, which is designed to provide a new way of looking at Internet usage. Developed with Nielsen//NetRatings, it divides usage into four categories: content, communications, commerce and search. The index is based on the clickstream database that underlies Nielsen//NetRatings' NetView service.

Mobium named agency for PGA Championship

Mobium Creative Group has been selected as agency of record for the 88th PGA Championship, which will be held at the Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Ill., in 2006. Mobium will develop an integrated marketing communications plan for the event, including print, interactive, collateral, broadcast and outdoor advertising.

Nielsen//NetRatings tracks financial sites

Nielsen//NetRatings announced a new research service, MegaView Financial, that tracks the behavior of online visitors to financial sites. The service is targeted at publishing companies, which will be able to use the data to attract advertisers and broaden relationships with existing advertisers. MegaView tracks which financial sites users are going to and their behavior on those sites.

Instant messaging on rise in workplace

Workplace instant messaging is on the rise, according to America Online's second annual instant messaging survey. Twenty-seven percent of IM users said they use the medium to communicate with others at work, up from 16% last year. AOL's survey of 4,500 Web respondents included all IM usage, not just AOL's IM products. The survey was done in partnership with Opinion Research Corp. in June and July.

Macfadden buys `Grocery Headquarters'

Macfadden Communications Group announced it has completed its acquisition of Grocery Headquarters from Trend Publishing. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Grocery Headquarters joins other Macfadden Communications food industry properties, such as Pizza Today and IPEX (International Pizza Expo).

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