TNS Projects 5.4% Ad Growth, Web Trails Hispanic As Fastest-Growing

Total U.S. ad spending will rise 5.4 percent in 2006, ad tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence (formerly CMR) said Wednesday morning. The forecast, which is in line with predictions made by Universal McCann's Bob Coen and other leading ad industry forecasters, would generate $152.3 billion in measured media spending, according to TNS' estimates--with most of the growth coming in the latter part of the year.

TNS is projecting only 5.0 percent growth during the first half of 2006, versus 5.7 percent during the second half. The biggest quarter is projected to be the fourth, which is expected to rise 6.4 percent over the fourth quarter of 2005.

Curiously, TNS' estimate predicts a relatively moderate rate of 9.1 percent growth for Internet ad spending during 2006, which is far lower than many industry forecasts. However, TNS said its Internet ad estimates do not include paid search, one of the fastest-growing segments of online advertising. Even excluding search, online will emerge as the second fastest-growing of the major ad-supported media--just behind Hispanic network TV, which TNS projects will rise 10.4 percent.

Cable network TV ranks third in project growth, and is expected to rise 8.4 percent, followed by outdoor (+7.2 percent), spot TV (+7.0 percent), syndication (+4.8 percent), network TV (+4.5 percent), newspapers (+4.3 percent), magazines (+4.0 percent), radio (+3.6 percent), and B-to-B magazines (+1.0 percent).

The outlook is stronger that 2005 results, reflecting the impact of incremental ad spending related to the 2006 Winter Olympics, and the U.S. mid-term elections, TNS President-CEO Steven Fredericks noted.

He added that "steady economic growth in 2006 will boost CEO confidence," giving a positive lift to U.S. ad spending.

Even so, TNS' outlook is more muted than Universal's Coen, who in December projected total U.S. ad spending would rise 6.8 percent, with the Internet emerging as the fastest-growing medium--up 10.0 percent for the year.

2006 GROWTH ESTIMATES BY MEDIA

% CHANGE vs. 2005

Hispanic Network Television

10.4%

Internet1

9.1%

Cable Network Television

8.4%

Outdoor

7.2%

Spot TV

7.0%

Syndication Television

4.8%

Network Television

4.5%

Newspapers

4.3%

Consumer & Sunday Magazines

4.0%

Radio

3.6%

Business-To-Business Magazines

1.0%

Source: TNS Media Intelligence

1. Internet estimates do not include paid search advertising

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