Display Spending Rose 13% in First Half of 2011

A new report from Kantar Media suggests nervousness that the economy has put a damper on ad spending, though digital remains a bright spot.

Display ad spending rose nearly 13 percent in the first half of 2011, according to the report. The media measurement firm began breaking out display and search ad data for the first time in the report, which tracks ad expenditures between January and June of this year.

Spending on display advertising was up 12.9 percent in the quarter, while search ad spending was up 8.6 percent. In all, Internet media spending was up 10.4 percent. Kantar attributed those gains to a “surge of money” from local, insurance, and travel advertisers.

The firm said Internet media made up over half of the dollar gain in total ad expenditures during the first six months of the year. Overall, U.S. ad spending rose 3.2 percent in the first half.

Notably, many of the biggest spenders are not spending more on advertising this year. Of the top ten advertisers by dollars spent, only Comcast, Loreal, Chrysler, and Time Warner increased ad spending year-over-year. Following a widespread auto industry downturn, Chrysler Group boosted ad spending more than 58 percent, more than any other brand in the top ten. By comparison, Procter & Gamble reduced its spending 7.8 percent in the first half of the year.

Spending by auto brands was highest among advertiser categories in that time, increasing 9.3 percent, said Kantar. But automakers slowed spending in the second quarter, increasing it less than one percent. The quarterly numbers on the whole reflected slower growth, as Kantar reported Q2 spending increased 2.8 percent compared to Q2 2010.

Total U.S. ad expenditures reached $71.5 billion in the first half year-over-year.

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