Driven by an economy on the rebound, total television advertising grew 4% in 1993 over 1992, according to the Television Advertising Bureau. Powering the overall growth was a bullish 11% increase in the fourth quarter from the previous period, indicating that a full-scale turnaround is under way.

The most striking signs of a recovery in the fourth quarter came from network and syndication, which recorded a 13% increase over 1992. In addition, fourth-quarter gains were bullish for local TV, which was up 10%, and spot, which recorded a 7% increase.

Total 1993 TV ad revenues were approximately $ 23.7 billion, up from $ 22.8 billion in 1992.

“No doubt, we’re in a turnaround,” said Western Intl. national broadcast prexy Bill Croasdale. “Advertisers are definitely feeling better about the economy.”

According to the Ad Bureau figures, provided by Arbitron’s Media Watch, several key advertising categories contributed to the revenue increase. The leading local spenders were fast foods (+11%), auto dealers (+20%) and furniture stores (+13%). Another sign of a recovery was the 46% increase in loan and mortgage company spending.

Also grew

In spot, home-buying related categories also grew: insurance (+18%), household equipment and supplies (+25%) and household furnishings (+26%). Spot ad gainers also included automotive (+11%), consumer services (+13%) and sporting goods and toys (+20%).

Leading local advertisers were Pepsico’s fast-food divisions, spending almost $ 180 million (+12%) and Walt Disney Co., with about $ 121.4 million (+54%).

In spot, the big three automakers all had significant increases in spending, led by Chrysler with $ 217.74 million (+27%).

The uptick in key categories such as automotive is a good sign for the industry, with the upfront buying season on the near horizon. Industry prognosticators estimated that all sectors, led by network, would be looking for significant price increases.

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