Nielsen: Ad Spend Down 15.4% in First Half of 2009

Advertisers collectively cut budgets by more than $10 billion during the first half of 2009, sending total spending down 15.4 percent to $56.9 billion, according to figures released Tuesday (Sept. 1) by Nielsen Monitor-Plus. With the exception of cable and Hispanic TV, all 19 media segments monitored by the ad-tracking research service posted declines. Even the fast-growing Internet medium was down 1 percent to just under $4.3 billion.

Cable TV grew 1.5 percent to nearly $8.8 billion, all the more significant since spending on cable TV was down 2.7 percent in first quarter. Spanish-language cable TV inched up 0.6 percent to $140 million.

Network TV, the largest media segment, was relatively healthy compared to a lot of other media, with a 7 percent spending drop to $10.6 billion.

Media segments that took the biggest hits were: Local Sunday supplements (-45.7 percent); business-to-business (-31.8 percent); spot TV markets 101 to 210 (-32.1 percent); local magazines (-25.4 percent); national newspapers (-22.8 percent); national Sunday supplements (-22.4 percent); and national magazines (-21.2 percent).

Local media continue to suffer declines such as spot radio (-9.1 percent); outdoor (-14.9 percent); local newspaper (-13.2 percent); and spot TV top 100 markets (-17.4 percent).

Although automotive spending was down $1.68 billion or 31 percent, it still remained the largest ad category at $3.7 billion. Local dealers also cut back spending, down 26.2 percent.
Not all ad categories slashed budgets. Quick service restaurants, including McDonalds, Sonic, Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s, increased spending by 5.1 percent combined for a total of $2.2 billion. Other categories boosting ad budgets include wireless telephone services (1.3 percent); movies (1.7 percent); and direct response products (6.7 percent).
Mediaweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.