Ad Spending Continues Slide

Posted on 12/31/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Though final advertising spending numbers for 2009 will not come in for another few weeks, the first three quarters of the year were nothing short of abysmal—at least according to mid-December figures from TNS Media Intelligence. The ad-measurement company reported a U.S. decline of 14.7% compared to the first nine months of 2008.

Notably, 2008 was not a very good year for ad budgets either: TNS reported a decline of 4.1% since 2007, when the market last registered growth with a measly 0.2% improvement over 2006.

This year—despite recent hints of promise from Wall Street and job markets—TNS executives say that the monthly trend line on total ad expenditures shows no meaningful improvement through October. Third-quarter 2009 spending was down by 15.3% compared to 2008, marking a sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines.

With a 7% improvement over last year, Internet display advertising (TNS does not measure search dollars) remains the bright spot in an otherwise dismal landscape. Also growing are freestanding inserts, which have risen by 4% with consumer product manufactures expanding couponing efforts to appeal to value-conscious shoppers.

Magazines, newspapers and radio have been the biggest losers, with 19.7% and 22.8% and 22.8% declines of ad revenue, but third-quarter losses were less severe compared to the first half of 2009. TNS said this could be construed as a positive indicator.

As a group, the top 10 advertising categories declined by 14.1% in the first nine months of 2009 compared to 2008. However, telecom and pharmaceutical advertising continued rising, with respective 0.4% and 0.6% gains, due largely to ongoing competition among segment players. Predictably, automotive and financial services advertisers cut their spending more than others, by 30.8% and 23.7%, respectively.

Copyright © 2010 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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