US advertising spending rose 6.4% in the first half of 2004, driven by double-digit increases from top automakers and battleground state advertising for the two presidential candidates, tracking firm Nielsen Monitor-Plus reportedly said on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, DaimlerChrysler and Nissan Motor raised spending on truck and sports utility vehicle advertising by 56% and 21%, respectively, while General Motors raised spending by nearly 8% and Ford increased its budget by 12% in the first half.

By media, spending on network television rose 7.5% and was outpaced by local magazines at 12.7% and cable television at 12.5%. Local radio and newspaper advertising lagged at 3% and 2.7% growth, respectively, the report added.