TV adspend increases for six months in a row

TV stations are set for their sixth consecutive month of year-on-year increases in advertising revenue, with total TV spend in October expected to be up 11 per cent.

The news coincides with increased levels of TV viewing and means that, although some stations are still suffering, total TV inflation is less problematic than it was during the summer months when demand outstripped supply.

However, the Merrill Lynch analyst Neil Blackley has this week predicted a decline for December and that ITV's ad revenue would grow by just 0.5 per cent in 2003.

David Fletcher, the head of research at Mediaedge:cia, said: "Different bits of the economy are working in different ways. Although cars and telecom companies are spending, the FMCG and retail sectors are still volatile."

Estimates for October's performance vary, although the total TV market is expected to be worth more than £318 million. Channel 4 and Channel 5 revenues are predicted to exceed the industry 11 per cent benchmark, with ITV not far behind.

Simon Pardon, the managing director at Granada Enterprises, said the improved audiences and revenues vindicated the investment in the channel's schedule.

ITV1's I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! has proven to be a peaktime hit, building audiences of 7.5 million with a respectable 32.3 per cent share.

The series finishes this weekend but Pardon said he was confident that Popstars: The Rivals and ITV's terrestrial premiere of the Star Wars films would continue to boost the network's performance.

ITV's revenue fillip comes as its marketing director, Jim Hytner, unveils a rebranding of the TV network in a bid to create a unified brand. Included in the changes is a new on-screen identity, with regional idents dropped in favour of ITV1 branded ones during networked programmes.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).