Mutual fund companies spent a total of $324 million on advertising in 1999, down slightly from the $331 million they spent in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting of New York. However, last year's mutual fund advertising spending was up 75 percent from 1995 when spending was $185 million.

Cable and network business-news programs as well as upscale magazines have drawn most of the nearly $150 million increase in mutual fund spending in the last five years, according to Harold Simpson, vice president for research and development at the Television Bureau of Advertising of New York. Network and spot television mutual fund advertising grew from $3.5 million in 1995 to nearly $35 million last year, according to the bureau. Cable television advertising grew from $8 million in 1995 to $38 million in 1999, according to Competitive Media.

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