Blows to Ad Spending Kept Coming in ’09, But Softened in Q4

Ad spending took another nose dive in 2009, but the rate of decline slowed in the fourth quarter, according to a study released today by research firm Kantar Media.

Kantar determined that from 2008 to 2009, ad expenditures fell 12% to $125.3 billion. That’s not good, but the year-over-year rate of decline for the fourth quarter of 2009 was half that — 6%.

“Given the restraint in consumer spending, it appears marketers have more confidence right now than their customers,” said Jon Swallen, Kantar’s senior vice president of research, in a statement. “As we get deeper into 2010, the pace of consumer activity will be a key determinant of the strength and durability of the advertising recovery.”

The only categories to experience growth in 2009 were Internet display ads and those coupon inserts they put in newspapers.

As one might expect, print ads got dinged up pretty bad in 2009. Newspaper ad spending fell 20%, and Sunday magazine spending fell 11%. Consumer magazine ad sales experienced a 17% dropoff.

These numbers reflect additional research by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism released Monday, which determined magazine ad pages declined 26% in 2009.