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National Ad Spending Led Growth In Q4 And Full Year

Press release from the issuing company

Vienna, Va. – Newspaper advertising expenditures for the fourth quarter of 2003 totaled $13.1 billion, an increase of 2.6 percent over the same period last year, according to preliminary estimates from the Newspaper Association of America. Total ad spending in newspapers for the full year was $44.9 billion, up 1.9 percent from 2002. National advertising led the way with a 7.5 percent increase, to $2.1 billion in the fourth quarter, boosted by gains in motion pictures and telecommunications. Retail advertising spending edged up 1.7 percent to $6.2 billion, boosted by increases in furniture store, building material store, and apparel and accessory store ads. Classified also increased 1.7 percent to $4.8 billion after posting declines in each of the first three quarters of the year. Within the classified category in the fourth quarter, real estate ad spending had the largest percentage gain, up 6.6 percent to $1.2 billion. Automotive advertising decreased 1.8 percent to $1.6 billion. Recruitment advertising declined 1.4 percent to $1.1 billion, and all other classifieds gained 6.5 percent to $835 million. “These 2003 numbers show that advertisers today – particularly national advertisers – increasingly recognize how highly effective and cost efficient newspapers are as an advertising platform,” said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. “The solid 2003 growth in total newspaper ad spending, in the face of a challenged economy, bodes well as we look forward into 2004.” For the full year of 2003, national rose 8.1 percent to $7.8 billion, the biggest percentage increase in three years. Retail advertising expenditures gained 1.7 percent to $21.3 billion and classified was essentially flat, off 0.6 percent to $15.8 billion. “Improvement in the labor market will boost the classified category this year,” said NAA Vice President of Business Analysis and Research Jim Conaghan.