SpongeBob Square Pants episode

Economists and media companies are cautiously optimistic that advertising spending will grow modestly.  Ratings were up in the first quarter for kids' channel Nickelodeon, home of "SpongeBob SquarePants," allowing parent Viacom Corp. to raise its ad rates.

( Nickelodeon / Nickelodeon / May 3, 2013 )

Economists and media companies are cautiously optimistic that advertising spending will grow modestly. Ratings were up in the first quarter for kids' channel Nickelodeon, home of "SpongeBob SquarePants," allowing parent Viacom Corp. to raise its ad rates.

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