May Adspend Up 1.4%; Best Month in 2002 for Mags

09 August 2002

US advertising expenditure during May increased by 1.4%, a result which although positive was insufficient to boost year-to-date spending beyond the 2001 level, reports CMR, the media tracking arm of Taylor Nelson Sofres.

Aggregated adspend for the month reached $902 billion (€930.23bn; £589.47bn) bringing the five-month total to $40.29bn – 1.2% below last year’s figure.

Magazines enjoyed their first positive month in 2002, achieving a marginal 0.2% rise; while network TV leapt 4.5% – its best performance this year apart from a winter Olympics-inspired upward blip in February.

Spot TV registered a robust performance, bettering May 2001 by 10.6%, whereas a cloud of gloom still hangs over syndicated TV, down 12.2%. It is difficult to discern a meaningful indicative trend in this data, as in the same month last year spot TV fell 15.3% while syndicated rose by 4.7%.

Elsewhere, the absence of this yo-yo effect made comparisons easier. Network radio posted a rise of 11.7% compared with last May’s 7.6% drop; national spot radio increased 12.5% against minus 22.8% in 2001. Newspapers (excluding nationals) gained 5.5% versus minus 7.1%.

National newspapers bucked the mainly upward trend, down 6.3% on the same month last year, as were business-to-business magazines (minus 15.1%). Cable TV, which paradoxically enjoyed increased ad revenues through most of last year, sagged 7.9% in May.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff