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U.S. Ad Economy Expands For Third Consecutive Year

13 Mar, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

NEW YORK – The U.S. advertising marketplace grew for the third consecutive year, although at a modest 3-percent rate of growth, according to WPP’s Kantar Media unit.

Analysts credit big and mid-tail advertisers for the increase. The estimates, based on ad placements tracked by Kantar Media (which partners with Response to deliver quarterly short-form DRTV and DR radio media billings), show that mid-size advertisers increased the most, while ad spending by small advertisers was flat.

But the biggest contributor was a resurgence of ad spending by the biggest advertisers, says Kantar Media Chief Research Officer, Jon Swallen.

“Large advertisers also played a significant role,” stated Swallen. “After reducing their media budgets in 2011 as a precaution against slowing economic growth, the top 100 marketers reversed course in 2012 and invested more.”

The top 100 advertisers expanded their ad spending 3 percent during 2012, while those ranked 101-250 increased 7 percent and those ranked 251-1,000 grew 5 percent.

The No. 1 advertiser, Procter & Gamble, cut spending 5 percent last year, while media and telecommunications giant Comcast surged 10 percent, catapulting itself into the second slot and replacing AT&T and General Motors, which slashed spending 14 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

In all, spending by the top 10 advertisers fell 2 percent.

Analysts say the Summer Olympic Games and political campaign spending helped the total U.S. ad market grow by more than $4 billion. The lack of those factors in the fourth quarter slowed the U.S. ad expansion to just 2 percent.

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