Year off to flying start for ad industry with 4.8% rise

LONDON - Advertising expenditure saw a bigger rise in the first quarter of the year than seen since the end of 2002, up by 4.8% to £3.65bn year on year, according to the Advertising Association.

Cinema advertising, facing a lack of blockbusters in the first three months of the year, was the only sector to record a decline over the period, with adspend slipping back by 2.9% to £38m, a decline of 4.1% in constant prices. However, with the release of the new Harry Potter film this month, along with the epic 'Troy' and disaster film 'The Day After Tomorrow', cinema could still see a rise in adspend later this year.

Radio and outdoor advertising were the fastest-growing media over the first quarter, a fact that has been borne out by strong results for many of the poster and radio groups. Outdoor advertising increased by 9.1% to £185m, while radio was up by 8.3% to £133m.

Television saw an increase in adspend of 3.7% to £880m for the first three months of the year, making it the second biggest area of spend after press advertising. There were across the board rises in press and magazine ads, with regional newspapers up 7.2% to £796m and national newspaper advertising showing a small increase of 3.2%.

Even business magazines, which have seen advertising revenues hard hit by the recession and slower to recover than other sectors, posted a rise of 1% in ad revenue to £227m. However, this represents a 0.3% decline in constant currency terms.

The figures have been compiled by the Advertising Association, along with the World Advertising Research Centre. A full copy of the report is available from WARC.

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