MADRID: Adspend levels are starting to stabilise in Spain, a market that has suffered particularly heavily during the financial crisis.

Infoadex, the research firm, reported that advertising expenditure in the country rose by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2010 year-on-year to just under €1.2bn ($1.6bn; £1.0bn), creating the first improvement for two years.

Television, including digital and regional stations, was the main driver of this process, with revenues climbing by 1.9% to €585m in the opening three months of this year.

More specifically, Telecinco, Spain's largest commercial broadcaster, posted an uptick of 31.5%, with Antena 3 up by 20.3%, while smaller rivals La Sexta and Cuatro recorded gains of 40% and 19.9% respectively.

Online advertising sales jumped by 17.9% to €60.0m in the same period, helping the medium build on its comparative resilience over the course 2009 as whole.

Cinema also saw investment levels expand by 147.1%, although the total outlay through this channel remained comparatively modest, at just €5.3m.

By contrast, magazines were off by 7.8% to €89.2m, while newspapers registered a decline of 2.9% to €245m, indicating that the climate remained particularly challenging for print media.

Radio was also down by 1.2% to €116.1m, while outdoor experienced a contraction of 1.8% to €83.5m in the first quarter, Infoadex said.

Data sourced from El Pais; additional content by Warc staff