SYDNEY: Prospects for television advertising Down Under are bullish as demand for airtime "is hotting up", claim industry experts. Newspaper publishers are also reporting a surge in the ad market due, they say, to their ability to negotiate "combination buys" with online properties.

The radio and magazine sectors are not as buoyant, but are expected to lift during the year.

Henry Tajer, general manager at media agency Universal McCann in Sydney, says: "The networks are opening up their log books for April as we speak and that will create an influx of buying activity."

He adds that the agency has revised its local advertising growth forecasts for the year upward from 4.5%, and claims the figure could "potentially hit 6%".

Zenith Optimedia managing partner Belinda Rowe is even more optimistic, adding: "Everyone's been putting a lot of money into online and new media but you do seem to be seeing a swing back to TV. There is improvement for newspapers as well but radio is still down. Online's growth rate will still be huge this year but people do seem to be starting to reinvest back into TV."

Seven Network sales director James Warburton also believes demand is improving: "The cycle is changing. You definitely have to book further out."

Karim Temsamani, commercial and group magazine director of publisher Fairfax Media says the broader ad market for newspapers "is much, much better" but adds a note of caution: "I want to see the bookings more sustainable for a few months before we can talk about longer-term predictions."

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff