Nielsen: Y-to-D Ad Spend Flat

NEW YORK Advertising fell 0.1 percent through September, according to preliminary figures released today by Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Of the 16 media segments tracked by the research service, which, like Adweek, is part of the Nielsen Co., only six showed increases, led by the Internet, with a 15.9 percent gain. Other media that grew during the period were national magazines, up 7.7 percent, national Sunday supplements (6 percent), outdoor (5.7 percent), national cable TV (1.2 percent) and Spanish-language TV (0.5 percent).

Last week, TNS Media Intelligence issued its third-quarter estimates, reporting a slight increase in ad spending of 0.2 percent to $108.2 billion.

Most of the market softness came from the automotive category. Auto manufacturers cut spending by 13.5 percent while local dealers reduced spending by 5.6 percent. Among the top 10 categories, only pharmaceuticals, telephone services and wireless, and direct response products were up.

The top 10 advertisers cut budgets during the first nine months of the year to $30.5 billion, a decrease of 6.3 percent. Only two advertisers, Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods increased budgets by 1.3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

While traditional advertising slid, product placement continues to grow. Product placement occurrences among the top 10 prime-time programs were up to 22,046 occurrences compared to 19,125 over the same period last year. Fox’s American Idol led the pack with the most occurrences at 4,349.

The No. 1 brand for product placement was Coca-Cola soft drinks at 3,111, more than double No. 2-ranked Chef Revival Apparel (which outfits the cast on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen) at 1,256 occurrences.

In contrast, occurrences in prime-time cable network programming decreased. Among the top 10 cable programs there were 136,078 occurrences versus 160,118 for the same period a year ago. TLC’s American Chopper, which premiered in January, became the No. 1 cable network show for product placements with 41,657 occurrences, more than double the number on A&E’s Dog the Bounty Hunter, the No. 2 show in product placement.

The top brand for product placement on network cable was Orange County Choppers Apparel with 8,030 occurrences.