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Ad Spending Rose 4.6% in 1st Quarter to $19.1 Billion

July 19, 1999|From Bloomberg News

NEW YORK — Advertisers spent $19.1 billion pitching their products in the first quarter, a 4.6% increase over last year, a survey found, as the U.S. economy remained strong and Internet companies advertised more.

General Motors Corp. was the leading advertiser, spending $622.7 million, a 16.4% increase, Competitive Media Reporting said. Pampers and Crisco oil maker Procter & Gamble Co. was the second-biggest advertiser, even though it cut its spending 10% to $393 million. DaimlerChrysler was third, spending $340.4 million, a 4.1% decrease.

"The economy is humming along, and advertisers are still bullish," said Mike Drexler, chairman of TN Media, a unit of True North Communications Inc., the world's seventh-biggest advertising company.

The survey tracked dollars spent on television, newspaper, magazine, radio and outdoor advertising. Competitive Media is a unit of Netherlands-based media company VNU.

While car companies spent the most, spending by Internet companies rose the fastest. Spending in the category more than doubled to $284 million, led by AT&T Corp., America Online Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Snap.com, a joint venture between General Electric Co.'s NBC and Xoom.com Inc., increased its spending 77-fold to $14.2 million.

McDonald's Corp. had the most-advertised brand name, followed by Grand Metropolitan's Burger King and Circuit City Group.

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