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Global Ad Spending Shows Signs of Growth
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Global Ad Spending Shows Signs of Growth

As global ad spending continues a steady climb to recovery in the first half of 2010, advertising in the world’s largest market is also seeing signs of growth, with a 3.8 percent increase in U.S. ad spending year-over-year, according to figures released today by The Nielsen Company.

The U.S. market, which faced six straight quarters of declines in ad spending, has seen a turnaround in 2010. In total, advertisers spent an estimated $54 billion during the first half of 2010. The increase in U.S. advertising reflects a modest improvement in U.S. consumer confidence in the first half of the year, as advertisers look to highlight value deals and increase promotions in the hopes of spurring consumer spending.

However, with confidence still well below pre-recessionary levels, automotive was one of only a few bright spots in the top 10 product category ad spending.

U.S. Ad Spend by Sector
Category Quarter 1, 2009 – Quarter 2, 2009-$$$ Quarter 1, 2010 – Quarter 2, 2010-$$$ % Change
Automotive 3,491,438,000 4,431,709,000 26.93%
Pharmaceutical 2,090,707,000 1,998,762,000 -4.40%
Motion Picture 1,645,751,000 1,592,196,000 -3.25%
Telephone Services – Wireless 1,758,535,000 1,518,600,000 -13.64%
Restaurant 805,082,000 824,978,000 2.47%
Restaurant – Quick Service 2,114,925,000 2,024,575,000 -4.27%
Dealerships 1,634,702,000 1,602,897,000 -1.95%
Department Store 1,516,520,000 1,591,149,000 4.92%
Products – Direct 933,141,000 828,155,000 -11.25%
Auto Insurance 623,212,000 764211,000 22.62%
Total 16,614,018,000 17,177,235,000 3.39%
*Excludes Internet spending. Source: The Nielsen Company

Overall, there was a 3 percent increase in the top 10 product categories, with the largest growth by far seen in automotive (+27%) and auto insurance (+23%). The automotive advertising was driven largely by increased spending by General Motors which was up 73% over 1H09. Ford and Toyota also grew their ad spending by 15% and 22% respectively. An increase of 82% for UAW Health Care Trust contributed to the first half growth in the auto insurance category. All other categories, except department stores (+5%) and restaurants (+2%) showed declines in the first six months of the year.

Regional Increases in Advertising Dollars Spent

“Not surprisingly, auto ad spending is closely tied to auto sales given that those sales dollars enable increased marketing expenditures,” said Sallie Hirsch, SVP of Research for Nielsen’s automotive unit. “Last year was abysmal for the auto industry as economic factors drove down sales to very low levels. Now that we’re seeing an improvement in the market and consumers are more willing to open their wallets, car sales have started to rebound and that’s what’s driving the increase in ad spending for 2010.”

Looking at ad spending across media types, U.S. television (network, cable, syndication, spot, Spanish Language network and Spanish Language cable) continues to dominate, accounting for $33.8 billion in advertising during the 1H10, a 6 percent increase over last year. Spanish language network TV and Cable TV in particular saw the biggest gains, up 24 percent and 13 percent respectively over 1H09.

Print media overall (national and local magazines, newspapers, Sunday supplements and B2B) was flat, however, national Sunday supplements received a significant uptick with 21.6 percent growth over last year. National newspapers were also up 10.8 percent. Alternatively, B2B and local Sunday supplements declined 19.2 percent and 12.1 percent respectively.

U.S. Ad Spend by Media Type
Media Type Jan-Jun 2009 Jan-Jun 2010 % Change
Business to Business $1,305,504,250 $1,054,525,521 -19.22%
Cable TV $8,063,091,000 $9,108,321,000 12.96%
FSI Coupon $246,535,406 $253,643,516 2.88%
Local Magazine $215,200,797 $198,596,922 -7.72%
Local Newspaper $5,175,683,500 $5,187,628,000 0.23%
Local Sunday Supplement $26,757,018 $23,533,229 -12.05%
National Magazine $7,261,397,500 $7,425,700,500 2.26%
National Newspaper $603,244,125 $668,556,625 10.83%
National Sunday Supplement $460,186,281 $559,376,875 21.55%
Network Radio $491,766,875 $494,776,188 0.61%
Network TV $10,587,809,000 $11,489,960,000 8.52%
Outdoor $1,506,906,750 $1,530,320,000 1.55%
Spanish Language Cable TV $205,042,672 $202,412,703 -1.28%
Spanish Language Network TV $1,326,478,750 $1,646,938,375 24.16%
Spot Radio $2,572,394,500 $2,514,994,000 -2.23%
Spot TV $10,637,725,000 $10,292,083,000 -3.25%
Syndicated TV $1,096,335,750 $1,107,379,875 1.01%
Total $51,782,059,174 $53,758,746,329 3.82%
*Excludes Internet spending. Source: The Nielsen Company