NEW YORK: Brand owners in the automotive sector boosted their adspend in the first quarter of 2010, triggering a broad recovery in most major markets.

According to Nielsen's Global Adview Pulse, which predicted there would be a flat or "slightly positive" shift in ad revenues this year, automakers increased their budgets by 19.1% in Q1 2010.

General Motors , Ford and Toyota all appeared in the top ten advertisers in dollar terms over all categories during this period, with Honda, Volkswagen and Chrysler in the top 20.

This auto industry took an 8.2% of total expenditure in the opening three months of 2010 as the economic situation began to stabilise in advanced markets and continued to improve in nations like India and China.

Elsewhere, FMCG specialists such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever heightened their outlay, although this was against a comparatively low base.

Among the largest advertising categories for January to March were healthcare, cosmetics, media and food.

While financial services delivered 5.5% of all revenues, no single company in this segment featured in the top 20 as a whole.

"It will probably take two years to go back to the previous levels” of ad spend before the recession, said Michele Strazzera, deputy managing director of Nielsen Global Adview.

However, Strazzera added the Q2 figures are also likely to be positive, with Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and India generating the greatest upticks.

The strong start to 2010 was a response in part to the Winter Olympics and the run-up to the World Cup, which started in June, Nielsen's report suggested.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff