NEW YORK: Adspend through traditional media rose in the US during the first half of 2011, with brands from various areas of the financial services sector ramping up their expenditure, new figures show.

Nielsen, the research firm, reported that the ad revenues recorded by TV, radio, newspapers and magazines climbed by 5% year on year during the opening six months of 2011, to $53.2bn.

The company revealed that brands in the automotive insurance category generated the highest increase in their collective outlay, logging a 25% improvement, from $766m to $955m.

Banking services took second place on this metric, as providers raised their budgets by a combined 24%, equivalent to a lift from $457m to $566m.

Financial investment services took third position in terms of the overall growth rate, directing $550m to advertising in H1 2011, measured against $463m in H1 2010, equivalent to a 19% leap.

"The theme that I see here is that they are all financially oriented categories," Randall Beard, the global head of advertiser solutions for Nielsen, told the New York Times.

"People are very interested in saving money, getting the best possible deals and making sure their financial situation is as strong as it can be."

As a result of this, Beard reported that messaging from the auto insurance sector largely focused on savings and discounts, typically in a bid to secure new customers.

For brands in the banking services sector, rewards and offers linked to products were the primary subjects of ads.

Many financial services companies have also shifted their focus from affluent customers to targeting a wider audience, according to Beard.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by Warc staff