PARIS: Renault, Orange and Procter & Gamble were some of the biggest advertisers in France in the first quarter of this year.

Kantar Media, the research firm, has estimated that total French advertising expenditure reached €5.6bn ($7.5bn; £4.9bn) in the opening three months of 2010.

More specifically, it argued that rates of growth accelerated each month between January and March, in an indication of the rising level of optimism discernible among marketers.

By medium, press advertising revenues climbed by 6.3% to €1.6bn in Q1, with magazines up by 3% and national newspapers by 17.1%.

Radio ad sales also increased by 9.3% to €830m, while outdoor generated an uptick of 11% to €646m, and cinema delivered an improvement of 68% to reach €39m.

The internet also saw revenues jump by 10.4% to €586.2m, increasing the channel's share of the market to more than 10% in all.

Elsewhere, television spend rose 18.2% year-on-year to €1.9bn in the first quarter, Kantar Media's study suggested.

The finance, beauty, automotive and food categories all registered double-digit increases in their overall media budgets in Q1.

By contrast, real estate was the only sector to record a major decrease in its outlay, as the economic downturn continued to squeeze demand for property.

Automakers claimed the top three spots in the individual advertiser list for the first quarter, led by Renault on €101.9m, with Peugeot in second on €75.5m and Citroen in third on €74.3m.

Orange, the mobile network, was in fourth position on €64.4m, with Carrefour, the supermarket chain, in fifth place on €61.2m.

SFR, another mobile specialist, invested €58.8m in advertising in Q1, followed by Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, on €57.1m.

E.Leclerc, the retailer, Unilever and Danone, the consumer goods manufacturers, closed out the top ten, all spending more than €50m between January and March.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff