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TNS reports ad spending up 4.1% over last year

Total ad spending in the first six months of the year totaled $72.98 billion, up 4.1% over the first six months of last year, according to the mid-year ad spending report by TNS Media Intelligence. Internet ad spending (not including search) totaled $4.69 billion, up 18.9% over the first half of 2005. Spending on network TV was up 5.7% to $12.28 billion. Ad spending in b-to-b magazines was down 1.1% in this year's first half, totaling $2.18 billion. Telecommunications was the leading category, with $4.70 billion in advertising spending in the first half, up 16.6%. Financial services companies spent $4.33 billion on ads in the first half, up 7.9%.

Thompson acquires health care publisher

Thompson Publishing Group, which provides subscription-based legal and regulatory information, has acquired American Health Consultants, a publisher of subscription health care newsletters. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. AHC's titles include "Emergency Medicine Reports," "Medical Device Daily" and "Same-Day Surgery." It also provides accredited continuing education for physicians.

Expedia awards account to Doner

Online travel site Expedia has awarded its $170 million creative account to Doner, a Southfield, Mich.-based ad agency, according to executives with knowledge of the situation. Doner was awarded the account following a review. The other finalists were TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., and Mullen, Wenham, Mass. The incumbent on the account was Deutsche, Marina del Rey, Calif.

Chicago Merc launches global branding effort

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has launched a $5 million ad campaign, its first major branding effort. The campaign is designed to raise global awareness of the exchange by featuring some of its high-profile clients. The print campaign was developed in house and will run in publications including Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.

Wunderman purchases Shaw Marketing Group

Wunderman, a marketing services agency and division of WPP Group, has acquired Shaw Marketing Group, a 4-year-old relationship marketing agency. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The agency will be an operating division of Wunderman, New York, and will be renamed Shaw Wunderman. Richard Shaw, founder and president of Shaw Marketing Group, will remain as head of Shaw Wunderman.

ComScore adds monthly European Web rankings

ComScore Networks, an Internet measurement and ratings provider, released the first in a series of monthly rankings of top European Internet properties this week, based on data collected both at home and in the workplace through its World Metrix audience rating service. Google was the No. 1 European online property in July, attracting 156.3 million unique visitors. Microsoft came in second with 144.1 million visitors, and Yahoo! had 99.5 million visitors. EBay and Time Warner Network filled out the top five positions.

Online video advertising on the rise: eMarketer

Online video, while only constituting 2.3% of the $16.7 billion spent advertising online, is expected to grow faster than any other form of Internet advertising, according to a report by eMarketer. By 2010, online video ad spending is expected to garner 8% of the $29.4 billion spent on online advertising. EMarketer projects that this year alone, online video will grow more than 71%. Spending for Internet video advertising is expected to total $385 million this year.

New York Times Co. buys database firm

The New York Times Co. has acquired Baseline StudioSystems, an online database and research service for information on the film and TV industries, from Hollywood Media Corp. for $35 million in cash. Baseline's clients include numerous studio and TV production companies. Janet Robinson, president-CEO of New York Times Co., said in a news release that Baseline will "provide with enhanced content offering and improved advertising opportunities in its popular entertainment vertical."

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