NEW YORK: Global advertising expenditure posted double-digit growth during the first half of this year, according to new figures.

Research firm Nielsen reported that worldwide adspend reached $238bn (€171bn; £149bn) in the opening six months of 2010, a 12.8% uptick year-on-year based on ratecard estimates.

Overall, 35 markets from the 37 assessed enjoyed an expansion, with the UAE off 5.8% and Ireland down 3.2%.

Latin America experienced a 44.5% surge, totals standing at 23.8% in the Middle East and Africa (MENA), 12.1% for Asia Pacific (APAC), 8.5% in Europe and 4.7% in North America.

Within this, Brazil leapt 50.2%, Mexico registered a 40% improvement and Egypt's revenue levels increased 36.4%.

In Europe – responsible for a 23% market share, equalling North America – returns rose 11.6% in France, 9.5% in Germany and 10.7% in the UK, while Spain was essentially flat.

Asia Pacific now accounts for 38% of worldwide advertising sales, as India grew 32%, with Hong Kong up 23%, one percentage point ahead of both Indonesia and Malaysia.

In more advanced regional economies, demand rose by 8% and 9% in Australia and New Zealand respectively.

FMCG brands heightened their outlay by 21.4%, with auto manufacturers delivering a 20.7% improvement, financial services recording a 19.9% jump and durables rising 17.3%.

Growth rates stood at 11.1% regarding industry and services, 10.7% concerning telecoms and 9.8% in the apparel and clothing sector.

This acceleration moderated to 6.1% among entertainment providers, 5.5% for media owners and just 2% for the healthcare category.

Carmakers in the US boosted spending by 17.3%, making this the fastest-growing sector in the region, a status assumed by fashion specialists in Europe, raising expenditure by 14.9%.

Durables yielded a 29.7% enhancement in Asia Pacific, Latin American financial services groups furthered their outlay by 73.9% and telecoms witnessed a 38.7% increase across the Middle East and Africa.

In value terms, 95¢ from every $10 originated with the healthcare segment, measured against 89¢ for cosmetics and toiletries in second place.

By media, television controls 62% of all advertising revenue, up 1% on an annual basis, and saw returns climb 15.8% during H1 this year.

Radio sales rose 11%, newspapers experienced a 9.5% expansion and magazines generated the slowest improvement, at 3.7%, including a 2% contraction in North America.

"Discretionary adspend categories recorded the highest year-on-year increases, which is a leading indicator that advertisers and consumers are more confident to spend again," Michele Strazzera, deputy managing director, Nielsen Global AdView, said.

Nielsen also stated that Q2 ad revenues were up 12.9%, despite a slight slowdown in acceleration in APAC and Latin America.

"The slower growth in Asia Pacific is not a cause for concern," said Strazzera. "Asia Pacific performed better than the majority of regions in Q2 2009, [and] we see a slower pace when comparing them against regions that made a later recovery."

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff