Press Room

Global Adspend Down 7% In 1st Quarter 2009

Amsterdam, NL – July 8, 2009 – Global advertising expenditure across television, newspapers, magazines and radio has recorded a drop of 7.2 percent for the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008, according to a global advertising trends report released today by research company Nielsen.

The report, Global AdView Pulse, reveals that the global economic crisis is taking its toll on the ad sector, with European countries taking the hardest hit, especially Spain (-28.2%), Ireland (-21.2%), Italy (-19.1%) and the UK (-14.7%). In North America, the US was down 12.7 percent. Declines in global ad spend were stemmed somewhat, however, by the Asia Pacific region which posted only 2.3 percent reduction versus first quarter 2008. In Asia-Pacific, Indonesia showed the greatest growth because of the elections with an increase of 19.1 percent, and China maintained growth but to a much lesser degree (+2.5%).

“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,” observed Global AdView Managing Director, Ben van der Werf. “Even China, which usually sees a boost in ad spend during Chinese New Year, posted subdued growth for the quarter of just 2.5 percent off the back of 17.1 percent growth in quarter four of 2008.”

The Nielsen report shows that advertising across all four major media types (newspapers, television, magazines and radio) was down in the quarter. Magazines fared the worst of the four, down 17.4 percent, newspapers saw a 9.1 percent decline, while slow downs in television and radio advertising were more contained, -4.7 percent and -2.5 percent respectively.

By region, the Nielsen report reveals that print media was the one hardest hit by the crisis, declining in all regions, especially North America where magazines ad spend was down 22.2 percent on last year and newspapers were down 15.6 percent. While television ad spend was down in both Europe (-8.6%) and North America (-9.3%), the overall decline was balanced by slight increases in Asia Pacific (+1.0%). Radio saw a drop in North America (-8.2%) but was fairly stable in Europe (-0.1%) and up slightly in Asia Pacific (+1.4%), making overall decline more contained.

“All of the major media types we report on are suffering in the first quarter,” states Van der Werf. “However, losses are particularly pronounced in print media and as a result print media as a whole has surrendered around two percentage points of share of spend to the other two media types.”

By sector only two industries escaped negative growth for the quarter – distribution channels (+6.0%) and FMCG (+0.2%). Automotive, financial services and clothing and accessories on the other hand posted the largest losses in ad spend, down 19.9 percent, 16.7 percent and 15.7 percent respectively. (See Chart 2).

“The declines in automotive and finance are ongoing and certainly not surprising given we have seen these sectors post ongoing drops in ad spend over several consecutive quarters,” notes Ben van der Werf. “Both sectors are especially exposed to the ensuing financial turmoil and, the declining ad spend is indicative of this.”

See downloadable pdf for charts.