PARIS: Adspend levels rose by more than 5% in France in 2011, but the pace of growth slowed over the course of the year, new figures show.

Kantar Media, the research firm, reported that expenditure increased by 5.2% in 2011, reaching €27.8bn.

However, while expansion rates stood at 9.6% in the first quarter and around 5% in the second and third quarters, this total had declined to 2.3% during the closing three months of the year.

Television posted a 6% increase in ad sales to €9.3bn, as digital stations witnessed demand rise by 28.4%, although the mainstream channels were down by 1.2%.

Print titles also enjoyed a 3.9% improvement to €7.6bn. Free daily titles experienced a 24.3% lift, measured against an acceleration of 3.5% for national newspapers and 2.2% for magazines.

Radio logged 6.2% growth to €4.2bn, and online display revenues surged by 7.6% to €3.5bn. Elsewhere, outdoor returns slipped by 0.6% to €2.7bn, but cinema saw a leap by 27.1% to €380m.

Renault, the automaker, was the highest-spending advertiser last year despite cutting back its outlay by 14.2% to €366m. Orange, in second place, reduced its expenditure by 10.7% to €351.3m.

Carrefour delivered the largest improvement among the top ten, up 23% to €322.2m, as the ailing hypermarket group sought to strengthen its position.

Peugeot, another carmaker, was up by 1.8% to €316.5m, whereas SFR, the mobile telecoms provider, yielded a 13.8% contraction to €305.4m, and Citroën was essentially flat on €275.2m.

E.Leclerc, the retailer, raised its advertising support by 8.6% to €269.9m, and Unilever, the FMCG manufacturer, was off 7.6% to €254m.

Completing the top ten were Bouygues Telecom, the mobile firm, boosting budgets by 3.4% to €243.1, and Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods titan, trimmed its outlay by 10% to €235.5m.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff