Although slightly down year-on-year in the first quarter of 2003, US television adspend better than held its own – given that the same period in 2002 included the Winter Olympics and a hefty injection of mid-term political dollars.

The Television Bureau of Advertising reports that total spend via the medium hit $10.11 billion (€8.62bn; £6.20bn), down by just 0.8% on Q1 last year. Its figures are based on an a analysis of data from TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Although local TV and network TV were both down (by 0.3% to $3.7bn, and 3.5% to $5.5bn respectively) syndicated TV soared by 14.5% to $812m.

Topping the list of big spenders on local TV was DaimlerChrysler, whose corporate ad revenues increased by 5.3% while concomitantly slashing dealers' association spend by 15.9%.

Ford Motor Company and General Motors drove in the opposite direction, respectively upping dealer budgets by 16.1% and 67.2% while downsizing corporate spend by 16.9% and 22.1%.

Other major TV advertisers unzipping their wallets during Q1 were General Mills (+15%), Walt Disney (+20.5%), Procter & Gamble (+36.1%), AT&T Wireless Services (+36.5%) and discount retailer Target (+76.8%).

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