Ad Spending Hits $9.3Bln in 2007

Advertising spending in Russia surged to a record 228.7 billion rubles ($9.3 billion) last year as companies including Procter & Gamble and Unilever fought for market share in an economy that expanded for a ninth year.

Spending climbed 26 percent from the previous year, as television stations raised rates and growing Internet use made web advertising more effective, the Association of Communication Agencies in Russia said Thursday.

"Since 2000, we have seen the ad market's annual growth at about 30 percent," Vladimir Yevstafyev, vice president of the association, told reporters. "So far, I don't see an end to this."

Television commercials accounted for 112.5 billion rubles, about half of the total, while Internet ad spending almost doubled to 5.8 billion rubles, the group said. Spending on print ads advanced 16 percent to 51.9 billion rubles, outdoor displays climbed 22 percent to 40.4 billion rubles and radio spots rose 26 percent to 15.7 billion rubles.