Ad spend drops 15 percent in first half of ‘09, says Nielsen

Advertising across all media in the United States fell 15.4 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2008, a decline of more than $10.3 billion, according to figures released Sept. 1 from The Nielsen Company.

Preliminary figures put total U.S. ad spend in the first half of the year at $56.9 billion, the company reported.

Network television saw a decline of 7 percent from the same period in ’08. Spot TV in the top 100 DMAs declined 17.4 percent, and in the 101-210 DMAs, it fell 32.1 percent compared to the first half of 2008. According to Nielsen, cable TV was the only category to see an increase in the first half, up 1.5 percent compared to the same period in ’08.

Other media suffered as well. Network radio ad spending was off 9 percent, local newspaper ad spend fell 13.2 percent, national newspaper ad dollars dropped 22.8 percent and local Sunday supplements cratered, down 45.7 percent, for the period, the figures revealed.

By category, automotive ad spend at the factory and dealer association level dropped 31.4 percent to $3.7 billion for the period. Local auto dealership ad spending declined 26.2 percent to $1.7 billion for the first half of the year. Together, ad spending by the top 10 product categories was off 12.1 percent, to $17.7 billion, for the period.