If public service ads last year are measured by the total number of placements rather than their dollar value, the difference from last year is more pronounced. The number of placements rose a robust 15 percent from 2007. And in the fourth quarter, as the financial crisis raged, placements increased 22 percent compared with the same period the previous year.
The trend is continuing into 2009, Ms. Conlon said, as the recession wears on. In the first quarter, the total number of placements rose 21 percent compared with the same period a year ago.