ROME: Advertising expenditure levels have increased by over 4% in Italy so far this year, although growth could slow during the remainder of 2010.

Research firm The Nielsen Company reported that ad spending climbed 4.3% in the opening nine months of the year, hitting 5.2% when only considering national channels.

However, the pace of expansion stood at 0.8% in September, when brand owners allocated roughly €700m ($948m; £596m) to promoting their goods.

For 2010 to date, TV – including general and satellite stations – delivered 6.9% growth, with ad sales reaching €3.3bn.

Companies in the food and beverage sector boosted television budgets by 8.1%, but while alcohol and toiletries also recorded impressive improvements, the media, financial and tourism categories cut back.

Press faced greater challenges as advertising returns plummeted 7.3% on an annual basis, largely due to a reduction in activity among apparel manufacturers.

In contrast, the web posted a 17.6% surge, totals standing at 7.1% regarding cinema, 6.7% concerning direct mail and 6.2% for outdoor.

The number of organisations advertising on the internet leapt 26.3%, with cinema yielding a 27.9% jump, TV witnessing a 9.4% increase and radio up 4.1%.

Elsewhere, press saw a 2% decrease, indicative of the industry's broader decline.

Data sourced from The Nielsen Company; additional content by Warc staff