Here's a sign that things are possibly turning around in the automotive industry – Advertising Age is reporting that the total number of ad pages bought by automotive advertisers went up over the past year. First quarter numbers for American magazines went up compared with the first quarter of 2009, according to a report by the Publishers Information Bureau. This represents the first time that both of those numbers has gone up since 2007.

Back in February, the Media Industry Newsletter reported that although it was the smallest drop during nine consecutive quarters of decline, there was a 5.7-percent dip in ad pages compared to 2009 figures. The Publishers Information Bureau shows an even bleaker picture, with a reported decline of 9.4 percent from the first quarter of 2009. And lest we forget, the first quarter of 2009 was already pretty dismal, with drops of more than 25 percent over 2008 numbers. Still, the automotive sector is apparently stronger than several others, at least as far as magazine ad pages go.

Although Advertising Age says that financial, insurance and real estate figures have actually increased by 11.3 percent, with toiletries and cosmetics going up by 7.6 percent, the auto sector is still better off than several others. Apparel and accessories were down 15.7 percent, drugs and remedies dropped 15.6 percent, technology dipped 14.7 percent, media and advertising declined by 13 percent, as did public transportation, hotels and resorts.

[Source: Advertising Age]