Upgrades Ad Spending Forecast

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NEW YORK ( -- At least one financial analyst says the ad recession is over.

In a research report issued today, UBS Warburg media analyst Leland Westerfield said data from media buyers and sellers shows most marketers across different categories are now willing to spend more than last year.

Broadcast sales
Mr. Westerfield noted broadcast sales have performed better than expected in the first quarter, with eight out of the top 10 spot TV advertiser categories pacing up spending as of the first week of March.

However, Mr. Westerfield cautions April and May look weak, as advertisers may have shifted spending plans earlier in the year to take advantage of the Olympic games.

Ad spending forecast upgraded
Mr. Westerfield upgraded his 2001 U.S. ad spending forecast to call for an increase of 0.7%, up from his previous call of a 1.6% decrease.

This was led by a 5% increase in spot TV spending, which was previously forecast to grow by 3% and flat network TV spending, instead of a 3% drop as previously predicted.

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