TV Ad Spend Holds Strong

Despite a faltering economy in the U.S. and abroad, so far advertising is holding strong, particularly for television commercials. While analysts have slightly revised earlier expectations for the year in ad spending, they remain upbeat on the whole, projecting between 4 and 5% growth for the year. And as evidenced by the recent upfront market in New York, advertisers are showing no signs of slowing down their TV spot buying anytime soon. Indeed, the traditional medium remains by far the strongest sector for ad dollars despite heavy competition from online and mobile platforms. Marketers have decided that at least for now, there is no other format with the unifying reach of television.

As reported in a New York Times article Sunday, top broadcast and cable companies have boasted surging revenues to nervous investors. The uptick is being driven largely by a robust upfront market, in which advertisers commit to TV ad slots for the coming prime time season.

While in recent years the upfront market has gotten off to some shaky starts and has come off relatively sluggishly overall, the 2011 upfronts started with a bang in May, and fueled by a revitalized auto ad spend, ended with the networks posting double-digit gains over 2010. Add to that a strong scatter market throughout the last season, and it’s clear the TV commercial isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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