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LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.-Hospitals and hospital service plans, radio and TV stations, computer-related industries and toy and game companies are among the U.S. industries showing double-digit growth in advertising expenditures this year. This is according to estimates in Schonfeld & Associates' 19th annual edition of "Advertising Ratios & Budgets."

Hospital advertising will be up some 30% this year, the study predicts, with hospital and medical service plan companies up 16% and ads by doctors up 13%.

Perhaps reflecting consumers' wider electronic entertainment choices, TV station ad spending is predicted to be up 16.6% and radio stations up 19%. Cable and other pay TV services are expected to be up 11.4% this year.

Computer advertising will be up about 10%, and computer and software wholesalers advertising should be up by 33%, Schonfeld said. Predictions for toy and game advertising: Dolls and stuffed toys up 16.5%; hobby and game shops up 10%; sports and athletic goods up 14.4%.

The complete Schonfeld research report covers more than 6,000 companies in more than 400 industry sectors. The accompanying table shows estimated 1995 ad ratios for 200 industries.

Besides advertising-to-sales ratios, the complete study forecasts 1996 ad spending and ad growth for each company and industry. Overall, 1996 promises to be a very strong year for advertising, Schonfeld said. Large, diversified food companies are expected to spend $15.1 billion in advertising in 1996, up 5.4% from this year. Restaurant chains will show 4.1% ad growth, spending $1.8 billion.

Advertising by retailers will strengthen significantly. Department stores will spend $5.3 billion next year, up 4.5%. Variety stores will invest $3.5 billion, up 6.4%.

In 1996, the top ad spender will be Unilever, Schonfeld said, with an estimated budget of $6.2 billion, a hefty growth of 11.8%.

"Advertising Ratios & Budgets" is compiled from a variety of sources such as 10-K reports. Since reporting may vary from company to company, careful use of the findings is advised, because (1) financial events such as mergers, acquisitions and divestitures may distort spending patterns; (2) private ownership of very large companies in specific industries may mean some advertisers are omitted; and (3) multi-industry companies are reported only in their primary industry based on sales of their dominant line of business.

Copies of the 215-page study are available for $325 from the study's author, Eugene P. Schonfeld, Schonfeld & Associates, 1 Sherwood Drive, Lincolnshire, Ill. 60069; phone: (708) 948-8080. Data are also available on PC diskettes and computer tape.

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