Ad revenues at Britain’s TV stations are expected to grow next month for the first time since May.

So reports, which attributes the forecasts to an anonymous cabal of “media buyers and broadcasters”, atypically reluctant to stand and be counted..

These nameless augurs expect the national TV ad market to grow by 0.7% year-on-year in September, bouncing back from a dismal summer in which it fell by up to 11.2%.

Leading commercial network ITV, however, is not due to share in the recovery, with September ad revenues expected to be down 4.3% (albeit a smaller decline than the 5.7% forecast two weeks ago).

One executive willing to stick his head above the parapet, Media Planning Group head of broadcast Andrew Canter, attributed the September rebound to a rise in telecoms and financial services spend, and to the deregulation of the phone-directory inquiries market which has seen the launch of new services.

However, a Carat executive – anonymous, naturally – stressed that the market was still weak. “There seems to be a hangover of uncertainty from the war,” he declared. “We expected closure on that aspect and it has not happened … The optimism we expected is not there.”

For 2003 as a whole, current estimates are that TV adspend will be flat on last year, before posting 2% growth in 2004. ITV’s ad revenues are forecast to fall 5% in 2003, but increase 1.6% next year.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff