TNS: Total Ad Expenditures Down From Last Year

Ad spending down between 14-15% each quarter

Total advertising expenditures in the first nine months of 2009 dropped by 14.7% compared to the same period last year, according to analysis released Dec. 8 by TNS Media Intelligence.
The headline, says Jon Swallen, SVP of research at TNS, is “more of the same.”
On a quarterly basis, ad spending has been down between 14-15% each quarter.
“It’s been a level plateau,” Swallen adds. “It’s just a plateau that’s a heck of a lot lower than where we were a year ago. It’s not getting any worse but it’s not getting materially better either.”
Total television spending including broadcast, cable, syndication, spot TV and Spanish-language TV, was down 12.1% while newspaper and radio advertising took the biggest hit, falling 22.8% each.
Spending trends follow lack of consumer confidence and the continuing recession. But if total TV ad spending is down compared to the same period last year, cable television ad spending has slipped the least, giving the sector a bigger chunk of TV ad revenue. For Jan.-Sept. 2009, cable was off by just 2.9% compared to a decline of 11.5% for network television, 2.8% for syndication, 19.4% for Spanish language TV and a whopping 27.5% for spot TV.
As more viewers continue to migrate to cable, advertisers have followed. Cable’s more accessible price point compared to broadcast and virtually unlimited avails have contributed to the migration of ad dollars there. The past nine months, Swallen says, are simply a “continuation of that trend.”
“It’s accelerated a little bit in the past nine months because the economic situation is so bad that advertisers and marketers have been perhaps less willing to pay the premium for broadcast," he adds. "Being in more of a cost saving mode, they have looked to less expensive alternatives and that plays to cable's strengths.”