The Australian ad market grew 7.9% last year to hit a record high, according to new research.

Annual adspend figures from the Commercial and Economic Advisory Service of Australia show that advertising revenues totalled $9.3 billion (€7.8bn; £5.2bn) in 2003. The previous record was $8.9bn in 2000, after which the ad market slumped.

By medium, TV spend jumped 9.9% in 2003 to $2.9bn; newspapers were up 6.8% to $3.2bn; magazines rose 6.6% to $599.8 million; and radio rose 4.9% to $736m. The smaller media of outdoor and cinema posted the fastest growth, both rising 13.6% to $296.6m and $65m respectively.

Early signs are that 2004 ad growth could be even better. "For the bigger media types - newspapers, TV, radio and maybe magazines - we're seeing higher growth this year than what was experienced in 2003," declared Steve Allen of Fusion Strategy. "That's what we're seeing so far and we think it will continue."

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