TV ad spending grows 4.5 percent in 2011, says Nielsen

The TV industry had reason to cheer in 2011, with ad spending climbing 4.5 percent for the year, according to the latest figures from The Nielsen Company.

The final installment of Nielsen’s “Advertising & Audiences Report” for 2011, reported that TV took the lion’s share of ad dollars.

According to Nielsen, spending on cable TV grew 42 percent from 2007 levels, and Spanish-language cable and network TV experienced double digit growth in advertising spending. The former was up 24 percent, while the latter was up 16 percent from 2010 levels, Nielsen said.

Nielsen also found that automotive was the largest category for advertising spending across all media, accounting for $10.2 billion spent by automotive brands in 2011. That figure was more than twice the second-largest category — quick-service restaurants.

Topping the list of companies spending money on TV ads were AT&T for AT&T Wireless Web Access at $1.1 billion and Verizon for Verizon Wireless Web Access at $702.2 million.