MOSCOW: Adspend levels fell by 26% in Russia last year, to 256 billion rubles ($6.7bn; €6.2bn; £5.4bn), the country's Association of Communications Agencies has reported.

Print media was down by 43%, to 32.6bn rubles, in the last 12 months, with outdoor off by 41%, to 27.3bn rubles, and radio by 36%, to 9bn rubles, the AKAR said.

Cinema delivered a contraction of 29%, while the drop was less severe for television, where sales slipped by 18%, to 113.7bn rubles.

More positively, the internet was up by 8% overall, to 19bn rubles, with analysts expecting this medium to enjoy an expansion of at least 20% in 2010.

According to Admonitor, the media monitoring firm, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser on television in Russia over the course of last year.

It was followed in the rankings by Unilever, one of its major rivals, with L'Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser and Mars making up the top five.

Warc's most recent Consensus Forecast estimated that adspend levels fell by more than 30% in the country in 2009, although it is predicted that the market will return to growth in 2010.

Data sourced from AKAR; additional content by Warc staff