Iraq Attack Fails to Depress Q1 Adspend Recovery

19 May 2003

Despite the US-British attack on Iraq, America’s adspend rose 1.5% to $21.4 billion (€18.28bn; £13.12bn) during this year’s first quarter, reports Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Spending rose in six of the ten reported media sectors, growth rates ranging from under 1 percent to over 15%. Hispanic television topped the heap with a 15% year-on-year gain and national magazines also prospered (+14%) as did local newspapers with an increase approaching 9%.

Less robust were national newspapers, network TV, cable TV, and syndicated TV – all of which weakened by around the same figure, minus five percent..

Nielsen attributed the sluggish overall growth to the cancellation or postponement of certain entertainment TV shows (and their concomitant ads) during the war on Iraq. While another distorting factor was the 2002 Winter Olympics which fell in the same quarter last year, boosting viewing and advertising.

Dusting down its crystal ball, Nielsen is bullish about the rest of 2003, predicting a thumbs-up TV upfront.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff