BERLIN: Advertising expenditure levels increased by 2% in Germany during the first half of this year to €12.4bn, a report from Nielsen has revealed.

In a new report, the research firm stated that adspend grew across both the first and second quarters of 2012, although the pace of expansion slowed to 0.5% by the end of the six-month period.

"The euro crisis seems to have left its mark on the German advertising market," said Ludger Wibbelt, managing director of Nielsen Germany. The full-year outlook, he added, remains "positive overall".

More specifically, internet display ads enjoyed a 17.6% lift to €1.3bn, while radio was up 5.1% to €720m and television revenues rose by 4.4% to €5.3bn.

Less favourably, cinema experienced an 11.7% slide to €36m. Newspapers also registered a 4.9% to take €2.5bn, outdoor sales fell by 3.5% to €597m, as did consumer magazines, to €1.7bn.

In category terms, automotive led the charts, as car manufacturers boosted their expenditure by 11% to €838m. Honda was a major contributor to the category's increase, raising its adspend in order to support the launch of the latest Civic model.

Retailers, however, logged a contraction 21% to €771m. Major chains run by Media-Saturn-Holding, Aldi and EDEKA reduced their collective outlay by almost €160m.

Elsewhere, online companies increased their combined expenditure by €87m, with increases registered by Google, the search giant, Preis24, the price comparison site, and Trivago, the travel platform. But mail order and dairy groups cut back by €56m and €36m respectively.

In the telecoms sector, Apple's iPhone boasted an ad budget of €24.7m, ahead of Samsung's Galaxy series on €14.2m and Nokia on €9m.

Procter & Gamble was the largest single advertiser, raising its spending by 8.5% to €228.4m, beating L'Oreal, up 11.4% to €177.1, and Unilever, down by 1.3% to €171m.

A main source of growth in Q2 was the Euro 2012 football tournament, Nielsen said. Brand owners invested €174m on ads directly or indirectly referencing the event, with €150m of this total spent on TV.

Data sourced from Nielsen, Meedia, Horizon; additional content by Warc staff