Advertising spending around the world dropped 7.2 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, according to Nielsen's Global AdView Pulse. European countries were hit the hardest, with ad spending down in Spain 28.2 percent, Ireland down 21.2 percent and Italy down 19.1 percent. The U.S. recorded a decline of 12.7 percent. Ad spending in Asia Pacific was down just 2.3 percent in the first quarter. Indonesia actually recorded growth of 19.1 percent due largely to the elections there, while China's growth slowed to 2.5 percent.
"The effects of the global financial crisis have certainly caught up with the ad sector in this latest quarter, especially in North America and Europe where virtually all of the territories we reported on recorded negative growth," said Ben van der Werf, managing director, Global AdView at Nielsen. "Even China, which usually sees a boost in ad spend during the Chinese New Year, posted subdued growth for the quarter."
All four major media types - newspapers, magazines, TV and radio - posted drops in ad spending, with print media leading the decline. Magazines fared the worst (-17.4%) followed by newspapers (-9.1%). In North America, magazine ad spend was down 22.2 percent, while newspapers were off 15.6 percent.
Not surprisingly, the automotive category recorded the largest loss in ad spend - down 19.9 percent - followed by financial services (-16.7%) and clothing (-15.7%).
Read the full Global Ad Spend press release.