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Corner Offices Appear Optimistic About TV Advertising

NEW YORK: An increasing number of upper-level marketing executives say they plan to increase ad spending in the coming year, according to the Wave 11 "Media Economy Report" from Advertiser Perceptions Inc. Among these upper-level marketers, described by Advertiser Perceptions as "directors, vice presidents and higher," 37 percent planned to increase ad spending over the 2008 TV upfront sales period. Of the same group, 39 percent said they would maintain their current ad spending levels, and 25 percent intended to decrease spending.

According to Ad Age these executives are "those holding the purse strings," which offsets the survey finding that among all participants, only 19 percent intend to increase TV upfront spending.

Among agency planners and buyers surveyed, 16 percent planned to boost spending, 33 percent said they'd hold steady, and 51 percent plan to reduce upfront commitments. Lower-level marketers were not as optimistic as their superiors, with 17 percent planning to increase upfront commitments, 42 percent looking to maintain and 41 percent expecting to reduce.

MediaPost quotes API founder and partner Ken Pearl on the discrepancy: "Upper level marketers who control the budgets are more upbeat about the upfront. It could be that the agencies and the lower-level marketing executives are posturing, or they don't really know about the budgets."

All these numbers, however, indicate a leveling off from the November 2008 Wave 10 report. In Wave 11, 29 percent of ad executives said they expected to increase advertising budgets over the coming six months, while an equal percentage planned to cut budgets. In Wave 10, 30 percent were expecting to lower budgets over the coming six months versus 26 percent planning to increase overall ad spending.

The API survey, conducted in March and April, queried 1,599 marketing and agency executives, 627 of whom make TV ad spending decisions.