ROME: Advertising expenditure levels declined by 13.4% in Italy last year, to €8.52 billion ($11.7bn; £7.5bn), figures from Nielsen, the research firm, show.

Figures from the company showed that Ferrero, Nextel, Unilever, Vodafone, Procter & Gamble and L'Oréal were among the top ten advertisers in the European nation over the last 12 months.

However, it also reported that this group of companies cut their overall media outlay by a total of 6.6% year-on-year, to €1.2bn overall.

Television revenues fell by 10.2% in 2009, with press down by 21.5%, and magazines off by almost 30%.

Cinema also registered a contraction of 4.4%, with direct mail witnessing a slide of 15.8%, but the web saw figures improve by 5.1%, largely as a result of an uptick in search spending.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff