Advertising on Britain's radio stations grew at its fastest rate for three years at the end of 2003, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.

The RAB found that radio adspend totalled £165.5 million ($310m; €248m) in the fourth quarter, a year-on-year jump of 12.7%. The increase -- the biggest since Q4 2000 -- included a 10.8% surge in spend by national advertisers and a 15.2% leap in revenues from sponsorship and promotion.

For the whole of 2003, radio spend climbed 6.8% to £601m, compared with a rise of just 1.6% for television. The biggest radio advertiser remained the government, whose COI Communications ad unit spent £27.5m on the medium last year, a rise of 21.3%. There were also major hikes in expenditure by big advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Lever Fabergé Home Care.

"Radio is leading the way out of the downturn," commented RAB client services director Michael O'Brien, who argued marketers were "attracted by its clearly demonstrated effectiveness at building awareness and driving sales."

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff