NEW YORK: Data released last week by TNS Media Intelligence and analyzed by the Television Bureau of Advertising shows local television ad revenues enjoying a bumper fourth quarter in 2006, with a 21% leap that boosted ad income for 2006 as a whole by eleven percent.

Tailing a meager 2005, local TV got its main shot in the arm from political advertising - but also posted marked increases in each of the ten advertising categories analyzed by TNS.

In the October-December period, total ad revenues hit $5.7 billion (€4.28bn; £2.93bn) versus $4.7bn in the year-ago quarter; while the year as a whole garnered $18.7bn compared with $16.7bn 2005.

Despite its much-publicized woes, the automotive sector remained top dog in the quarter, up 13% to $1.3bn. In second place with $710 million was government/organizations - the category that includes political advertising - up by a factor of 3.7 from $193m in Q4 2005.

Occupying the remaining three of the top five places were:

  • Restaurants (up 16% to $395m);
  • Telecommunications (+35% to $392m);
  • Car/truck dealers (+9% to $251m).
Among the categories showing decreases in spend were food/food products, discount department stores and department stores, toiletries/cosmetics and home electronics/video stores.

Network TV, by contrast with its local cousin, saw diminished full year growth - down six percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter to end 2005 with a meager 2% increase.

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