Nielsen Monitor-Plus reports a booming first half for the US advertising industry, with across the board ad expenditure rising by 6.4%.

The twin drivers of this bonanza were paid political messages and a surge by major traditional advertisers like General Motors, Nissan and Procter & Gamble.

Leading the upswing were local magazines (+12.7%) followed by cable TV (+12.5%), national newspapers (+10%), network TV (+7.5%), national magazines (+6%), network radio (+5.5%), spot TV (+3.3%), spot radio (+3%), and local newspapers (+2%).

The political ad war in the January-June period generated no fewer than 356,161 spot-TV commercials, of which the majority were placed on behalf of the two presidential candidates.

Reigning champ George W Bush notched 123,285 slots but was marginally out-hyped by rugged contender John Kerry with 131,707 spots. Nearly a third of the presidential commercials (106,284) were placed in TV news programs.

Eight of America's top ten advertisers between them spent $8 billion in the first half of 2004, an 11.3% year-on-year increase; while number one spender Procter & Gamble lifted its outlay by 10.6% to $1.45 billion (€1.18bn; £792.9m).

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff