Retailers Slash Holiday Ad Spends

If you think you are seeing less holiday advertising this year, you’re right, according to a new study.

Thirty-two percent of CMOs at leading U.S. retailers said their holiday marketing and advertising budgets have been cut this season, per a study by BDO Seidman, which polled 100 CMOs at retailers with annual revenues of more than $100 million. In addition, 43 percent said their budget will remain flat, and only 25 percent said they are increasing their ad spending this holiday season.

Most of the retailers (57 percent) will spend the bulk of their marketing budget on print ads, while 21 percent will focus on broadcast outlets, and 19 percent will concentrate spending on Internet advertising. The survey, done via phone interviews, took place in October.

Catherine Fox-Simpson, a partner in the retail and consumer product practice at the Chicago-based consultancy, said retailers are also focusing on “niche areas” of the market, including certain days on the calendar like Black Friday, rather than taking a carpet-bombing approach. Fox-Simpson said the 32 percent figure was the highest she had seen since the survey began a few years ago.