Syndicated TV led a robust 6.3% rise in spend across thirteen US media sectors last year, Nielsen Monitor-Plus reported Tuesday. The data is preliminary and subject to adjustment.

All media notched gains in 2004, barring spot TV and spot radio, which respectively slipped 1% and 2.9%. Network TV and cable in particular benefited from Olympics-related spending, totaling more than $1.8 billion (€1.36bn; £937.2m).

According to NM-P managing director Jeff King: "Ad spending was effectively spread evenly across the year, with the strongest quarter being the third, helped by the additional spending from the summer Olympics and political advertising."

Gains by media sector were ...

  • Syndicated TV 13%
  • Network TV 12.2%
  • Local magazines 12.2%
  • Cable TV 11.7%
  • Outdoor 11.2%
  • National magazines 8.9%
  • National newspapers 6.2%
  • Coupons 4.9%
  • Network radio 3.2%
  • Local newspapers 3.1%
  • B2B magazines 1.9%
The mighty Procter & Gamble again topped the spend list at $3.03 billion (€2.3bn; £1.58bn), up year-on-year by 9.5%. Between them, the top ten advertisers bettered the 2003 numbers by 11.1%, collectively shelling out $16.6bn.

America's top three indigenous auto giants were also prominent in the spending stakes. Occupying second, third and fourth places behind P&G were General Motors (+19.2%), DaimerChrysler (+34.6%) and Ford Motor Company (+18.0%).

Product placement was also prominent in both senses of the term. No fewer than 23,526 placements in the ten top-rated network programs were noted by Nielsen - with NBC's The Apprentice leading the field, followed by Fox's American Idol and CBS' King of Queens.

Of the major brands using product placement Coca-Cola was the most insidious (notably on American Idol), with Ford, Moosehead beer, Nike Apparel and Pepsi-Cola also prominent elsewhere.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff