NEW YORK: Major brand owners including Procter & Gamble, AT&T and General Motors posted double-digit increases in their US adspend during the first half of 2010, according to a new study.

Kantar Media, the research firm, estimated that advertising revenues climbed 5.7% to $63.6bn (€49.2bn; £41.1bn) year-on-year in the opening six months of 2010.

Television delivered an increase of 10%, incorporating a rise of 25.1% for spot TV and 14.6% for Spanish-language ads, assisted by the World Cup in June.

Cable returns jumped 8.8%, a figure surpassing 7% for networks, although the syndicated national category experienced an 11.7% contraction.

Funds allotted to free standing inserts rose 7.6%, a pace of acceleration coming in at 6.3% for radio, 2.8% for out-of-home and 1.6% for magazines.

Newspaper ad sales dropped 3%, largely as local titles endured a 4.6% decline, offsetting gains elsewhere.

Online display also registered an uptick of 5.3% year-on-year, with Google having outlined the ambition of driving up demand in this area.

"Early figures from the third quarter indicate the advertising expansion is still maintaining its momentum and that is an encouraging sign for the industry," said Jon Swallen, svp, research, at Kantar Media.

Spending by the top 100 advertisers rose 9.7% to $29.3bn, growth reaching only 1.4% among the "long-tail" of brand owners outside the top 1,000.

Within this, the ten biggest advertisers increased their collective outlay by 11.5% to $8.4bn, measured against $7.5bn in the same period last year.

Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, led the rankings on $1.5bn, a 31.1% surge on an annual basis, as the manufacturer of Tide and Pampers sought to back a wide-ranging innovation programme.

AT&T, the telecoms group, took second on $1.1bn, a leap of 14.1%, while automaker General Motors, in third, enhanced its media expenses by 45.6% to slightly over $1bn.

Communications specialist Verizon, in fourth, produced a similar total after trimming its expenditure by 12.3%, a strategy Johnson & Johnson also employed, off 11.2% to $709m.

News Corp improved 5.8% to $700.9m, with Pfizer, on $649m, heightening its activity by 16.3%, but Time Warner was down 1.5% on $571m.

Toyota boosted its advertising output by 23.3% to $528m, and rival carmaker Ford supported an expansion of 12.2% to $524m.

As such, these firms contributed to the 23.4% increase generated by the automotive industry in its entirety, as manufacturers invested $3.9bn and dealers a further $2.2bn.

Telecoms expenditure rose 2.8% to $4.4bn, with local services up 5.5% as category outgoings hit $3.9bn.

Financial services continued on the path of recovery following a nadir during the economic downturn, and advertising costs grew by 11.3% to $3.8bn.

Food and confectionary brands allocated 9.5% more resources to this area in H1, as did retailers – excluding department stores, home furnishing and building suppliers – taking both sectors to $3.3bn.

Personal care spending climbed 11.8% to $2.9bn, just ahead of restaurants, where outlay remained essentially static, while travel and tourism was off 7.9% on $2.2bn.

Finally, the average hour of prime time viewing contained 9.5 minutes of "brand appearances" alongside over 14 minutes of network commercial messages the timeframe under assessment.

Coca-Cola, 24 Hour Fitness Center, Yamaha Music Equipment, Chef Revival and Starter were the brands with the most airtime in shows, according to Kantar Media.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff