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U.S. Ad Spending Fell 15.4% In The First Half, Nielsen Reports

NEW YORK, NY – September 1, 2009 – The Nielsen Company reported today that U.S. advertising for the first half of 2009 fell 15.4% compared to the first half of 2008. Preliminary figures show that U.S. ad expenditures declined over $10.3 billion to a total spend of $56.9 billion in the first two quarters.

Cable Television ad spending was the only medium to show growth through the first six months of the year (+1.5%). The increase is especially significant since Nielsen reported Cable TV ad spending was down 2.7% through the first quarter this year. Spanish Language Cable TV also saw ad spending tick up 0.6%.

The rest of Nielsen’s measured media showed year-to-year declines, ranging from Internet (-1.0%) to Local Sunday Supplements (-45.7%). African-American television (a subset of Network, Cable, Syndicated, and Local), continues to grow, increasing 14.3% through the first six months of 2009.

“While some of the larger categories have cut back spending, we see others that continue to raise the ante on their media investments,” said Annie Touliatos, VP for Nielsen’s advertising information services. “What’s interesting is that we’re not just seeing a rise in spending for recession-friendly products like fast food restaurants. We’re seeing a lot more promotion of technological innovations like smartphones, computer software, and consumer-driven web sites. These advertisers see potential for their products despite our stressed economy and are leveraging advertising to drive their success.”

 

Year-to-Year Change in Ad Spend, by Media

 

Media Category

First Half 2009

vs. First Half 2008

Change

Cable TV

1.5%

Spanish Language Cable TV

0.6%

Internet

-1.0%

FSI Coupon

-5.5%

Network TV

-7.0%

Network Radio

-9.0%

Spot Radio

-9.1%

Spanish Language TV

-10.1%

Syndication TV

-11.6%

Local Newspaper

-13.2%

Outdoor

-14.9%

Spot TV 101-210 DMAs

-17.4%

National Magazine

-21.2%

National Sunday Supplement

-22.4%

National Newspaper

-22.8%

Local Magazine

-25.4%

B-to-B Magazines

-31.8%

 

Spot TV Top 100 DMAs

-32.1%

Local Sunday Supplements

-45.7%

Grand Total

-15.4%

Source: The Nielsen Company

** Internet advertising expenditures account for CPM-based, image-based advertising. These reported estimated expenditures do not account for paid search advertising, text only, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, in-stream (“pre-rolls”) players, messenger applications, partnership advertising, promotions and email campaigns, compound image/text ad or house advertising activity.

 

PRODUCT CATEGORY AD SPENDING
Automotive ad spending once again emerged as the largest product category, despite cutting back 31%, or $1.68 billion. Local auto dealerships also cut back spending significantly, declining 26.2% in the first half of 2009. 

Quick Service Restaurants continued thriving through the economic downturn and showed added spending from many companies, including McDonalds, Sonic, Domino’s Pizza, and Papa John’s. The industry placed second among all industries with an ad spend of $2.2 billion. Direct Response Products, meanwhile, grew the most (6.7%) among the top 10 industries, due mostly to increased advertising for products marketed by Idea Village, AllStar Products, and Dish Direct.

Top Ten Product Categories, by Ad Spend

Product Category

Q1-Q2 2009 (millions)

Q1-Q2 2008 (millions)

% Change

Automotive
(Factory & Dealer Assoc.)

$3,681.2

$5,363.6

-31.4%

Quick Service Restaurant

$2,200.7

$2,093.4

5.1%

Pharmaceutical

$2,148.0

$2,421.2

-11.3%

Wireless Telephone Services

$1,871.4

$1,847.1

1.3%

Motion Picture

$1,709.0

$1,680.7

1.7%

Auto Dealerships – Local

$1,688.5

$2,288.3

-26.2%

Department Stores

$1,565.8

$1,637.2

-4.4%

Direct Response Products

$1,260.1

$1,181.1

6.7%

Restaurants

$834.6

$867.7

-3.8%

Furniture Stores

$773.8

$802.9

-3.6%

Total Top 10 Product Categories

$17,733.1

$20,183.1

-12.1%

Source: The Nielsen Company
NOTE: Data excludes B-to-B Magazine spending

Outside the top 10, there was significant growth among many major product categories. Multi-Function Mobile Phones (i.e smartphones, PDA’s, etc.) enjoyed the highest percentage change among all categories that spent a minimum of $200 million in the first half of 2009. Promotion of Apple’s updated iPhone models and TMobile’s Sidekick led the category’s 104% surge in spending.

Nielsen also found that Cable TV Services picked up its ad spending 62% to almost $500 million, a direct result of ad buys this year leading up to June’s DTV transition.

Top Ten Product Categories, by % Change

 

Media Category

First Half 2009

vs. First Half 2008

Change

Cable TV

1.5%

Spanish Language Cable TV

0.6%

Internet

-1.0%

FSI Coupon

-5.5%

Network TV

-7.0%

Network Radio

-9.0%

Spot Radio

-9.1%

Spanish Language TV

-10.1%

Syndication TV

-11.6%

Local Newspaper

-13.2%

Outdoor

-14.9%

Spot TV 101-210 DMAs

-17.4%

National Magazine

-21.2%

National Sunday Supplement

-22.4%

National Newspaper

-22.8%

Local Magazine

-25.4%

B-to-B Magazines

-31.8%

 

Spot TV Top 100 DMAs

-32.1%

Local Sunday Supplements

-45.7%

Grand Total

-15.4%

Source: The Nielsen Company

** Internet advertising expenditures account for CPM-based, image-based advertising. These reported estimated expenditures do not account for paid search advertising, text only, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, in-stream (“pre-rolls”) players, messenger applications, partnership advertising, promotions and email campaigns, compound image/text ad or house advertising activity.

 

 

Product Category

% Change

Mobile Telephones – Multi-Function

104.0%

Cable TV Services

62.3%

Websites

47.4%

Tax Services

46.6%

Computer Software

42.9%

Insurance

39.0%

Legal Services

32.1%

Facial Moisturizers

18.9%

Financial Investment Websites

18.8%

Institutions (non-university)

15.9%

 

Source: The Nielsen Company

NOTE: Minimum product category spend of $200 million  Data excludes B-to-B Magazine spending