Financial and automotive marketers last year proved to be key factors in an 8.8% rise in U.S. ad spending among the 100 Leading National Advertisers, which achieved their biggest gains in six years, according to Ad Age DataCenter figures. Financial ads in 2010 jumped 29% and auto spending 28%, compared to the previous year. However, the lingering effects of the recession are still being felt this year, with U.S. measured media up just 4.4% in Q1, the smallest increase since Q1 of 2010, WPP's Kantar Media is reporting.

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