NEW YORK: US adspend was up 5% in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2005, but the numbers have failed to live up to industry projections made in January.

Preliminary data released by Nielsen Monitor-Plus, the ad tracking service of Nielsen Media Research, show most of the 15 reported media posted gains, led by online advertising with a 50% rise, followed by Hispanic television's 22% increase.

Also on an upward curve were local magazines (10.5%), national newspapers (6.5%), network TV (6.5%), outdoor (6%), spot TV in the top 100 markets (3.5%) and national magazines (more than 3%).

Less robust were the figures for spot radio (1.5%), local newspapers (less than 1%), and business-to-business magazines and national cable TV (0.5%).

Spending among the top 10 advertisers grew 3% to nearly $9.8 billion (€7.62bn; £5.14bn) in H1, with six clients increasing budgets. AT&T's rebrand raised adspend by 50%.

Of the four auto advertisers in the top 10, General Motors, which leads the table, and DaimlerChrysler cut spending by 3% and 13%, respectively, while Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor increased spending, by 7% and 12%.

Nielsen's product placement tracking service reported a drop in the number of occurrences for the first half of the year. Fox TV's American Idol holds the top spot with 4,086 occurrences, followed by NBC's The Apprentice with 1,831.

Coca-Cola was the top product placement brand in H1 followed by Nike Apparel.

Comments Jeff King, MD of Nielsen Monitor-Plus: "Ad spending continues to build in strength when compared to last year, although not at the levels projected by many at the beginning of the year."

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff