AA's figures confound hopes of adspend rise

Adspend in Britain remains in the doldrums and continues to confound hope of a revival, according to new statistics published by the Advertising Association.

They show that ad expenditure in the UK totalled almost £3.5 billion during the second quarter of this year. This represents a nominal increase of 1.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2002, but a fall of 1.8 per cent in real terms.

Spending in national newspapers, on TV and in consumer magazines all fell in real terms during the period. But industry leaders this week drew modest comfort from the fact that the figures were showing no evidence of dramatic decline in spending.

"It all seems to be pretty static," Hamish Pringle, the IPA's director-general, said. "Nobody is jumping for joy but nobody is slitting their wrists either."

However, hopes of an imminent improvement have been dashed by figures from ZenithOptimedia, which predicts a rise in UK adspend of just 0.5 per cent to £10 billion in 2003. The media network says that all the major European economies are badly in need of stimulation from an improving US market.

The AA's findings point to differences in sector performances. While outdoor activity increased by 6.3 per cent at current prices to £185 million, business magazines continue to perform badly, with adspend dropping by 5 per cent to £266 million for the second quarter of 2003. National newspapers fared little better, showing a 4.7 per cent drop in ad revenue to £461 million.

TV spending dropped 1.3 per cent at constant prices to £950 million.

ZenithOptimedia, while revising its prediction of a full-year TV spend by £6 million to almost £3.2 billion, said there were no signs of a surging recovery.

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