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U.S. Ad Spending Down 11.5 Percent for First Nine Months of ‘09

NEW YORK: U.S. ad spending fell 11.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2009, compared to the same time period in 2008, Nielsen said today. Preliminary figures show that expenditures fell $10.9 billion to a total spend of $83.4 billion in the first nine months of the year.

Only three categories measured showed growth--cable TV, Spanish-language cable and free-standing insert coupons. All other media forms posted declines, including the Internet.

Terrie Brennan, senior vice president for Nielsen’s new business development said TV was faring better than print media.

“For example, local newspapers have seen 12,000 fewer advertisers in their pages in 2009,” Brennan said. “Meanwhile, nine of the top 10 cable TV advertisers have increased their spending in the medium so far this year.”

Year-to-Year Change in Ad Spend, by Media
Media Category 1Q-3Q 2009 vs. 1Q-3Q 2008 Change
Spanish Language Cable TV: 36.7%
FSI Coupon: 11.2%
Cable TV: 9.0%
Internet: -0.5%
Spanish Language Network TV: -4.6%
Spot Radio: -9.6%
Network Radio -10.2%
Spot TV 101-210 DMAs: -12.6%
National Sunday Supplement: -13.6%
Network TV: -13.9%
Local Newspaper: -14.0%
Outdoor: -15.1%
Syndicated TV: -15.9%
Spot TV Top 100 DMAs: -16.0%
National Magazine: -21.4%
National Newspaper: -21.6%
Local Magazine: -25.0%
B-to-B Magazines: -33.1%
Local Sunday Supplement: -48.3%
Total: -11.5%

Nielsen said the automotive sector continued to be the top ad-spending category through the first three quarters of 2009, despite a nearly 31 percent decline. Pharmaceutical placed a far second with a 4.6 percent decline. Only two categories in the top 10 showed growth--Direct Response Products and Quick Service Restaurants.