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Direct Response Marketing

Kantar: Q1 Ad Spend Flat; Broadcast TV Declines

3 Jul, 2013 By: Doug McPherson


NEW YORK – Total advertising expenditures in the first quarter of 2013 dropped 0.1-percent from a year ago and finished the period at $30.2 billion, reports Kantar Media, the advertising and marketing information provider and a research partner of Response.

Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media, called the numbers a “lackluster start for 2013,” due mostly to strong 2012 growth from political and Olympic ad spending.

“Data from the early second quarter are mixed, suggesting marketers are still being cautious and conservative with ad budgets. However, there are some bright spots, including healthy growth for Hispanic media and Outdoor,” Swallen said.

Expenditures from the direct response category (including television, radio and online) fell 11 percent to $1,368.6 million, principally due to reduced clearances on cable TV networks. Overall, TV was mixed, with cable TV expenditures rising 5.2 percent, helped by a jump in the volume of ad time and by stronger demand from restaurants and auto manufacturers.

Weaker prime time ratings contributed to a 5.2-percent decline in network TV spending. Comparisons were also hurt by a calendar timing shift that moved ad money for NCAA Final Four games out of Q1 and into April. Apart from this anomaly, sports programming produced ad revenue gains for broadcast networks.

Spot TV expenditures were down 2.4 percent, but if cyclical political advertising is excluded, the medium was roughly flat versus last year. Spending in syndication TV declined 1.1 percent.

Spanish-language TV spending increased 13.5 percent, its seventh consecutive quarter of double digit growth – a strong result, although lower than 15-percent annual growth rate seen in 2012. The Spanish-language segment continues to be driven by gains among national broadcast networks.

Spending among the 10 biggest advertisers in the opening quarter of 2013 was $3.7 million, a 5.7-percent increase compared to a year ago. Comcast posted the largest decline among the top 10, reducing expenditures by 17.5 percent to $331.2 million, concentrated in its movie studios, which had fewer major releases compared to the prior year.
 


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