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UK TV adspend poised for best performance since 2000

LONDON - The coming general election is expected to increase TV advertising expenditure to 12% for the first quarter of the year, the industry's best performance since 2000.

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ZenithOptimedia has revised its adspend forecast for the first quarter of the year up from the 5% it had predicted at Christmas to 12%.

The upbeat prediction follows the Centre for Economics and Business Research's forecast that advertising spend for 2005 will rise by 7% to £23bn, despite fears that the economy will slow down.

Recent figures from the Advertising Association showed UK adspend continuing to rise over the last quarter, up by 5.7% to £3.7bn. Press and television advertising received a boost as marketers returned to brand promotion.

The AA said the figures were the strongest recorded since the end of 2002. Positive factors are the economic upturn and the general election, which is expected to take place in May.

The government advertising agency, COI Communications, is not allowed to run campaigns once a general election has been called. This usually leads to increased activity in the run-up to the announcement.

The major political parties have already started running pre-election advertising, with Labour and the Conservatives producing poster and press campaigns.

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