Interactive Leads 2003 Ad Recovery, Report Says

Total advertising expenditures in the U.S. jumped in 2003, and the interactive sector led the charge, according to a report by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Overall, ad spend went up 6.1 percent, to $128.3 billion, and the Internet showed the most robust gain of all media, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, a New York-based strategic advertising and marketing information provider.

For 2003, Internet advertising posted a year-over-year gain of 15.7 percent versus 2002 to $6.4 billion.

In comparison, cable TV had a 15.6 percent increase to $12.2 billion in spending. Local newspapers led in dollar spending for 2003, posting $22.7 billion, an increase of 13.4 percent over 2002. Spanish language network TV had a 12.8 percent increase, to $2.1 billion, and syndication increased 15.3 percent to $3.3 billion.

Other contrasts were more dramatic, with network TV posting only a 1.8 percent uptick, to $20.3 billion — though the total amount spent in this category was second only to local newspapers.

TNS attributed the gain in Internet spending to improved advertiser confidence in the Internet. This confidence boost was due to factors such as expanding broadband penetration, more appealing ad formats and improved efficacy of online advertising, researchers said.

The TNS report of a $6.4 billion ad spend for interactive advertising was in line with figures released in February by Jupiter Research, owned by Jupitermedia, parent company of this publication.

The Jupiter report said a total of $6.3 billion was spent on online advertising in 2003, or three percent of the offline ad spend market.

After two consecutive years of flat growth, the online advertising market grew 10 percent in 2003, fueled by a 50 percent surge in paid search spending, the Jupiter report said. TNS Media Intelligence/CMR pegged the growth at 15.7 percent.

A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report released in February gave a preliminary estimate of online advertising revenues for 2003 at $7.2 billion, growing 20 percent over 2002. The report was produced in tandem with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

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