Germany's ad industry is breaking out the sekt for the third consecutive year - celebrating a 5.3% increase in advertising expenditure in 2005 after two equally effervescent preceding years.

Figures released today (Friday) by Nielsen Media Research indicate that the nation's gross domestic adspend last year totalled €19.1 billion ($22.99bn; £13.05bn).

The July-December period saw the biggest surge in growth, fuelled by early promotional activity associated with Germany's hosting of the 2006 soccer World Cup.

Print, TV, radio and other media companies increased their overall spend by €350m. Key growth drivers were the robust promotion of books, plus a higher level of investment by online media and private TV channels.

The retail and telecoms categories also increased spend by an aggregated €100m. Discount retailers Aldi, Lidl and Penny, as well as consumer electronics chains Media Markt and Saturn continued to advertise heavily and increases were also evident among department stores such as Edeka and Karstadt Warenhaus.

Less buoyant were the courier and financial services sectors and, especially, the detergents category which slashed spend by over 25% (€45m).

TV led the media pack in 2005, taking €8bn of spend - 4.2% up year-on-year. Radio saw the biggest increase, however, hiking revenues 15.7% to €1.2bn.

Newspapers grew 9.9% to €5bn, while consumer magazines were marginally down (-0.6%) to €3.9bn. Outdoor grew 8.8% to nearly €612m.

Nielsen is bullish about prospects for 2006. "We expect a gross increase of between 7-8% for 2006 starting in the first half of the year," said a spokesman.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff