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As ad spending in the U.S. was essentially flat last year, display ads continued their double digit growth, according to data from TNS Media Intelligence. The researcher, which doesn’t measure search or broadband video advertising, found that display grew 15.9 percent in 2007 to $11.31 billion from
$9.7 million $9.76 billion the year before. In 2006, display registered a 17.3 percent increase over 2005. The slowing growth rates for online ad revenues have tended to reflect the law of large numbers, as opposed to the impact of the sagging economy.
— Display’s share passes radio: Display’s share of ad spending last year was 7.6 percent – surpassing radio for the first time. However, display ads were still way behind the other categories share of ad expenditures: national TV (32 percent), magazines (20.4 percent), newspapers (17.7 percent) and local TV (11.3 percent).
— Sputtering ad economy: As for what last year’s numbers mean for this year – overall, 2007 ad spending “grew” 0.2 percent to $148.99 billion, while Q4 fell by 0.1 percent – Jon Swallen, TNS’ SVP Research, said in a statement that “the ad market remains stalled and is being engulfed by the spreading pessimism about general economic conditions.” While the hope for a cyclical boost from the Olympics and the national political elections still exists, it is alongside wider malaise and marketers’ cautious ad budgeting. That said, Swallen said that the company’s 2008 forecast is unchanged. In January, TNS forecast that display ad revenues will rise 14 percent this year, suggesting that although healthy, online ad spending will continue to experience a steady slowdown. Release