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2009 sees 9 percent decline in ad spending, Nielsen says

Advertisers spent 9 percent less across all media in the United States last year compared to their 2008 ad spending, according to a preliminary 2009 tally released last week by The Nielsen Company.

The decline translates to an estimated $11.6 billion, bringing the 2009 total to $117 billion. The contraction extends negative growth for six straight quarters. One bright spot, however, appears to be a slowing of the decline, according to Nielsen.

According to Nielsen, the decline in ad spending for the fourth quarter of 2009 was 2 percent, which compares favorably to the 15.4 percent and 11.5 percent contractions in the two preceding quarters.

Another encouraging sign is that most of the biggest advertisers appear to have increased how much money they spent on advertising in the fourth quarter of ’09, said Nielsen senior VP for new business development Terrie Brennan.

A Nielsen comparison of 2008 to 2009 ad spending for TV categories reveals:

• Spanish language cable TV 32.2 percent growth
• Cable TV 14.8 percent growth
• Spanish language network TV 3.9 percent decline
• Network TV 9.9 percent decline
• Spot TV marketer 101-210 14.2 percent decline
• Spot TV Top 100 markets 16.1 percent decline

When viewed by product categories, the biggest declines Nielsen found comparing ’08 to ’09 ad spending include:

• Automotive (factory and dealer association) -23.4 percent
• Automotive dealerships (local) -23 percent
• Wireless telephone services -8.2 percent
• Furniture stores -7.4 percent