Spending by major US financial advertisers surged 7.1% across fourteen media platforms in the eight months to August 31, reports New York's TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Leading financial businesses such as Ameritrade Holdings, Citibank and Deutsche Bank have all launched ad campaigns in recent months, proclaiming the worst of the recession to be behind them and that investors were again on the march.

In the eight-month period, aggregated spending rose year-on-year to $3.7 billion (€3.20bn; £2.19bn), reversing the downward trend of the past two years when fiscal adspend slumped 4.3% (to $5.82bn) in 2001 and again by 2.2% (to $5.69bn) in 2002.

Despite the uptick Madison Avenue, still licking its wounds after a thirty-month hammering, is not yet ready to uncork the champagne. Opines Carl Anderson, president/ceo of Omnicom's financial advertising unit Doremus: "The institutional houses are still quiet. It's not an environment that is forgiving."

But Publicis Groupe's financial shop Masius is more upbeat. General manager Rebecca Tudor Foley predicts the agency's advertising revenues will be up about 10% this year with an anticipated additional surge of between 20% to 30% in the first half of 2004.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff