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Advertising spending in a slow-growth mode

A sign promoting an announcement of a Rolling Stones tour on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

FERNANDO MORALES/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Marketers are still holding tight to their wallets, and advertising spending is increasingly modest. That is according to Nielsen's quarterly report, which found global expenditures rose 3.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year, and 2.8 per cent for the entire first half. Here's how spending growth breaks out by region in the first six months, compared with the same period last year:

North America:Up 2.7 per cent

Asia-Pacific:Up 6.4 per cent (with strong contributions from Indonesia, China and the Philippines)

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Europe:Down 6 per cent

Latin America:Up 13.1 per cent (with significant contributions from Argentina)

Middle East and Africa:Up 3.9 per cent

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CREATIVE DIRECTORS GET APOLOGETIC

"You don't become a creative director at the tender age of 27 without seriously pissing a lot of people off. So to everyone who I crushed on my path to greatness, I wanted to say that I'm sorry."

– Christina Yu, chief creative officer at Red Urban offers an apology.

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The video apology is part of a campaign for the National Advertising Benevolent Society's yearly fundraising effort, auctioning off "vintage interns" who will run seminars, give speeches and even fetch coffee for the highest bidder. This year's campaign sees those high-ranked interns apologize for their behaviour to soften up their potential bosses-for-a-day. It's the third year the group is running the intern auction to raise money for its work helping people in communications industries who need financial assistance because of illness, unemployment or other difficulties, as well as career counselling.

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THE LOYALTY CARD LANDSCAPE

68 per cent

Percentage of people surveyed who said credit card rewards programs are important to them.

15 per cent

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Percentage of Canadians who researched their options before choosing their credit card.

27 per cent

Percentage that said they do not understand what their rewards program offers.

11 per cent

Percentage of people who said they are confused or overwhelmed by the myriad loyalty programs and cards available.

79 per cent

Percentage that prefers cash-back rewards cards.

66 per cent

Percentage that prefers to redeem points for products.

57 per centPercentage that prefers travel rewards in a loyalty card.

Source: American Express Canada online survey of 1,343 Canadian Angus Reid Forum panelists who have credit cards.

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A UNIFIED EFFORT

Siemens Enterprise Communications, which provides communications software for businesses, announced this week a major rebranding, changing its name to Unify. And it asked a Canadian advertising agency to lead the effort: Ottawa-based firm McMillan developed the new brand and worked with the company on messaging and advertising. A joint venture of Gores Group and Siemens AG, the company brings in revenue of roughly $3-billion a year. Along with the rebranding, which was unveiled on Tuesday, McMillan announced it has won the account to be Unify's lead advertising and online agency.

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