Figures released from the Outdoor Advertising Association reveal that bookings for the last quarter of 2002 came in at £187.8m -- an increase of 15.5% on the same period last year. This improvement means fourth-quarter revenues have returned to the levels experienced in 2000.
The total outdoor advertising revenue for 2002 was £690.1m, which was a small increase of 1.9% on the previous year. This figure was also just £7m shy of the 2000 total ad revenue figure.
According to the OAA, the fourth-quarter growth was driven by the entertainment and media categories, while drink, travel and transport, and retail also all showed substantial year-on-year increases.
Nigel Mansell, managing director of outdoor specialist Concord, believes the first quarter of 2003 also looks promising, with FMCG advertisers contributing to a double-digit year-on-year growth.
However Alan James, the chief executive of the OAA, expressed some caution. "As for this year, the first quarter seems to be going well but it is too early to say whether we can expect high growth to be maintained throughout the whole year," he said.
James added that the result vindicated research carried out by Vivid Research last year in which 85% of the media agencies questioned named outdoor as the most likely medium to increase revenue.
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