2012 Political Ad Spend To Hit $2.7 Bil

Political advertising is helping a lot of what ails some parts of the media industry this year. Overall, next year looks to be tougher.

Interpublic's Magna Global unit says there has been a nearly 30% surge to almost $274 million in political advertising in the second quarter of this year, compared to a similar period in the last big political advertising year, 2010. Overall, the Magna says political advertising is expected to hit $2.7 billion for 2012 -- a 30% gain over the $2.1 billion level in 2010.

Vincent Letang, executive vice president and director of global forecasting of Magna, stated: “Without political ad spend, Magna believes that local television ad revenues would have been up 2% this year; with political effect, it will grow by an average 14%. The bonanza will be much bigger in swing states."

Taking out political and Olympic ad spending offers up a more sober picture of the U.S. ad economy on a quarter-by-quarter basis.

Magna says without political and Olympic dollars the second quarter was flat year-to-year and only grew 0.7% in the third quarter, All this followed a relatively strong first quarter, which grew at 1.9%.

This year, Magna says U.S. total media spend will get to $177 billion -- which will be 2.7% above 2011. Taking out political and Olympic spending will put U.S. total media spend at a weak 0.9% hike over 2011.

Next year -- 2013 -- Magna says total U.S. media spend will be virtually flat, with an actual 0.4% decline to $176.2 billion. Taking out political and Olympic spending means a $175.8 billion number -- a 1.3% hike over 2012.




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