Using the spread of percentage points between executives planning to increase or decrease their ad budgets as an index, AIR says ad confidence now stands at an index of 10, the same as it was in the spring of 2010, which is two points higher than the industry had at its pre-recession peak in the spring of 2007.
The current ad spending sentiment is 15 points higher than the spring of 2009, when API's Advertiser Optimism Index reached its low point of a negative five index.
"Advertiser optimism generally foreshadows increases in ad spending," stated Ken Pearl, CEO of API. "After three waves of improving and now steady optimism, the outlook for advertising in 2011 is positive overall. That is especially true for targeted accountable media, such as, digital, mobile and cable."
He added that while overall confidence is improving, the new data shows a "continuing decline in the number of media brands being considered - and bought - for advertising across all media.
Mobile media has the highest ad confidence level of all media, with an index of 66, followed by digital/online media, which has a current index of 59.
With a current index of 15, cable TV is the next strongest medium, but broadcast TV (-1), magazines (-12), and newspapers (-31), still have more downside than upside expectations among ad executives responsible for buying media over the next 12 months.