Not so awful first half in ad spending
Nielsen reports traditional media dips 1 percent
September 19, 2008
The U.S. economy is bad off and likely to get worse, yet the ad economy is holding up surprisingly well.
Ad spending dipped a bit for the first half of 2008 compared to the first half of 2007, according to new figures from Nielsen Monitor-Plus, but the second half is likely to kick back up again, boosted by the Summer Olympics and election spending.
That would put full-year 2008 ad spending in line with projections issued earlier this year for growth of around 2 percent and well ahead of 2007, which ended the year down nearly 1 percent.
For the first half of 2008, Nielsen reports spending on traditional media was down 1 percent, with local newspaper advertising weighting down that figure.
So far we’re still seeing healthy growth in some media, although there are certainly declines in some areas, says Annie Touliatos, vice president of sales development at Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
This is definitely good news for the advertising and media industries.
Half the media types measured by Nielsen posted increases, with television showing the biggest gains.
Touliatos notes that several major ad categories boosted spending, including telecom, restaurants, credit cards and direct response, which helped offset declines by other advertisers.
For the most part, Nielsen’s findings are in line with forecasters’ full-year projections.
Cable TV was the fastest-growing medium at up 8.1 percent. Longtime Magna forecaster Bob Coen has forecast a 7.8 percent increase for full-year 2008, while TNS Media Intelligence is forecasting a 5 percent bump.
Syndicated TV was up 7.2 percent, compared to Coen’s forecast for an 8 percent increase and TNS’s 1.3 percent.
National Sunday supplements like Parade were up 7.2 percent. Coen didn’t issue a projection for supplements. TNS includes these with its magazine projections.
Spanish-language TV was up 4.5 percent. TNS is projecting an increase of nearly 8 percent for the year.
Free-standing inserts were up 2.9 percent.
Spot TV in the first half was up 2.9 percent in the smallest 110 markets and 2.6 percent in the 100 largest markets. Expenditures on local stations are beginning to soar as presidential candidates ratchet up spending, as reflected in Coen’s full-year forecast for a 6.8 percent increase. TNS is projecting a 9.9 percent increase.
Network radio was up 2.1 percent but spot radio was down 10 percent.
Coen is projecting an 8 percent increase for network radio and a 3 percent decline for spot radio. TNS’s overall projection for radio is essentially flat to 2007, up 0.7 percent.
Nielsen has outdoor up 1.1 percent, while Coen and TNS are each forecasting an increase of roughly 5 percent.
Local magazines were flat at up 0.3 percent while national magazines were down 3.1 percent, off a bit from Coen’s projection for a 1 percent bump.
Network TV was down 6 percent, but this doesn’t count spending on the Olympics, which aired in third quarter, and may partly reflect the networks’ rating declines earlier this year during the writers’ strike. For the full year, Coen is projecting a 7 percent bump over 2007. TNS is forecasting a 2.7 percent increase.
Newspapers have been struggling for years and continue to.
Nielsen has local newspapers down 7.3 percent from the first half of 2007 and national newspapers down 8.1 percent. Coen is forecasting declines of 8 percent and 7 percent for the full year, respectively, while TNS is projecting a decline of just under 1 percent for all newspapers.
Nielsen reports that internet advertising actually fell in the first half, declining 6 percent, but the ad tracking service notes that figure is only for display advertising and does not include search and a number of other forms of online advertising.
When the internet is included, Nielsen reports a 1.4 percent decline in total ad spending for the first half.
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