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U.S. Ad Spending Rising More Than Expected

U.S. advertising spending is growing faster than expected this year and should accelerate next year as the elections, the Olympics and the millennium boost demand, according to forecaster Robert Coen, senior vice president for McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

Coen, said he expects ad spending will rise 6.1 percent this year, topping his earlier estimate of a 5.5 percent expansion. He has been tracking trends in ad spending for nearly 50 years.

In his first estimate of spending in the year 2000, Coen expects 7.5 percent growth next year as the presidential and congressional elections result in more advertising at the same time that marketers are trying to capitalize on the millennium and the Summer Olympics.

Coen said his figures include a mid-range estimate of about $1 billion in ad spending on the Internet. But he is skeptical about the figure because of the difficulty in measuring it. He told the Associated Press he suspects the amount of advertising in weekly newspapers and shopping guides and at in-store displays each probably exceed that on the Internet several times over.

Overall U.S. ad spending is expected to rise to $213.95 billion in 1999 and reach $230 billion in 2000, Coen said.