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Latest adspend figures fail to deliver any seasonal cheer

LONDON - There was no Christmas cheer in the latest set of advertising spend figures published today that show expenditure has managed only a 0.2% year-on-year increase and has actually fallen by 2.6% over the last quarter in real terms.

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The figures, published by the Advertising Association and compiled by the World Advertising Research Centre, cover the period ending September 30, and so do not include any boost that may have come about from the Rugby World Cup.

The survey reveals that national newspapers are down 3.8% on last year while television advertising spend was down by 1.3%.

Radio and outdoor advertising proved to be the real bright spots, up by 8.8% and 6.6% respectively. Regional newspaper advertising was up by 2.8%, while direct marketing only managed a 0.6% rise in current prices -- representing a fall of 2.3% if inflation is stripped out.

Colin Macleod, research director at WARC, said: "We expect to see solid growth next year, much stronger growth than this year. There's a lot more confidence coming back into the industry, but it is returning slowly."

Yesterday, media buying company ZenithOptimedia said that 2004 will see a rise in global adspend of 4.7%, but predicted that Europe -- including the UK -- would lag behind that figure. The company said it expects UK adspend to grow by 3.2%, and across Europe as a whole to rise by 3.7%.

The full Quarterly Survey of Advertising Expenditure can be bought from the World Advertising Research Centre.

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