Third quarter data released Thursday by Nielsen showed a small decline in ad spending from January to September of this year.
Overall ad spending dropped 0.6% in the first nine months of 2008, compared to the same time period in 2007.
The drop came despite overall growth in TV advertising. Four of the top-five growing media were TV-based.
The top three ad spending industries -- Automotive (-8%), Pharmaceutical (-4%), and Local Auto Dealerships (-3%) -- all decreased their advertising, compared to last year. The remaining top ten industries either showed increased or flat ad spending. Direct Response Products, which increased ad spending by 27% in 2008, showed the largest growth.
During the first three quarters of 2008, Procter & Gamble continued to outspend all other advertisers, despite reducing its ad spending by 7% -- to $2.3 billion -- vs. the same time period last year. General Motors and AT&T were the second and third largest advertisers, with $1.7 billion and $1.3 billion in ad spending, respectively.
View the press release.