Adweek ADSPEND Survey: Spending

The majority of advertisers polled said they plan to spend more on advertising in 2003 than they did this year. Morgan Anderson believes this indicates strong support for advertising’s impact on sales and other metrics. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they plan to increase spending next year, while just 11 percent plan to decrease spending. But many remain cautious: More than one in three respondents (38 percent) said they expect no change in spending next year.

The planned spending increases are generally not as large as they were earlier in the year. In the second round of the study, fielded in April, advertisers who said they were planning to spend more were expecting those increases to be 25 percent on average. By September, that average percentage had shrunk to 17 percent. On the bright side, advertisers who said they intend to spend less generally do not expect to trim their budgets as much as they did in April. On average, these clients said they plan to spend 21 percent less, compared to an average 31 percent cut expected in April. According to Morgan Anderson, this suggests advertisers are making smaller cuts in total media and that budgets are beginning to stabilize.

Looking at the data by category, more than six out of 10 clients in automotive, pharmaceutical, retail and packaged goods said they plan to spend more in 2003. The most diversity in spending plans was seen in three categories: pharmaceutical, entertainment/publishing/services and financial services. In all three, clients who do plan spending hikes expect them to be significant: 40 percent on average in financial services, 27 percent in pharmaceutical and 25 percent in entertainment. On the flip side, pharmaceutical and financial services clients who plan to decrease spending expect to cut it by 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The most drastic cuts are expected in entertainment. A full 50 percent of clients in that sector said they will decrease spending, and the cuts will average 28 percent. This is perhaps due to the cyclical nature of the film and publishing businesses.

By medium, network TV stands to reap the most from spending increases in 2003, with 63 percent of respondents saying they will spend more in that area next year. Every respondent in the automotive, retail and telecommunications categories indicated their network TV spending will rise in the next 12 months. For spot TV, 46 percent of all respondents indicated spending increases, led by the retail, telecommunications and aviation/consumer durables/utilities/gas/oil/chemicals sectors, all with 100 percent of respondents planning to spend more. The same percentage of respondents said they plan to spend more on cable TV in 2003. In this medium, 100 percent of all retail clients said they plan increases, but 100 percent of telecommunications clients are going the other way, planning to spend less on cable in 2003.

Looking at the other measured media in the study—syndicated TV, magazines, newspapers, national radio, spot radio, outdoor and interactive—none recorded more than 29 percent of respondents saying they will spend more. At least 60 percent of all respondents, in fact, said they planned no change in spending in syndicated TV, news papers, outdoor and national radio. Fifty-nine percent plan to stay the course in spot radio, and more than 40 percent will spend about the same amount in interactive and magazines.