Studios defy the drop in ’06 ad spend

TNS revises estimates, predicts 4.9% increase

U.S. ad spending in 2006 will be lower than forecast, according to TNS Media Intelligence, but studio advertising is defying that trend with significant hikes in the first quarter of this year.

Advertising for theatricals is ahead of 2005 figures, with an 11% jump in April bringing spending up to $790 million from last year’s $712 million. Every month has been up vs. the comparable month in 2005.

But a cut in spending in other sectors has forced TNS to revise estimates it published in January. Company says ad spending will rise 4.9%, rather than 5.4%, to $150.3 billion. Despite the decrease, that’s still a record for ad dollars.

New forecast has been triggered in party by reductions in the auto industry.

“We didn’t anticipate that the auto industry would be having significant losses and cutting back significant advertising; that really hurt newspapers,” said Steven J. Fredericks, TNS’ prexy-CEO.

Radio spending is down to 2.1% from an estimate of 3.6%, a drop that’s also attributable to auto spending.

Internet display advertising and Spanish-language media are projected to be the top growth sectors in 2006, at 13% and 12.9%, respectively.

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