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Direct Response Marketing

U.S. Ad Spending Drops 15 Percent in First Half

9 Sep, 2009 Response This Week


NEW YORK – According to recently released data by The Nielsen Company, U.S. ad spending fell 15.4 percent in the first two quarters of 2009. In total, $56.9 billion was spent on advertising, more than $10.3 billion less than in the same six-month period in 2008.

Of those spending on advertising, the automotive vertical came out on top, with $3.68 billion, despite a 31-percent cut in marketing over the course of last year. Thus far in 2009, local automotive dealers have cut ad budgets 26 percent.

The only media category to see a rise in ad spending thus far this year was cable TV, with a 1.5-percent increase overall and a 0.6-percent increase for Spanish language cable TV. One category that did well was quick-service restaurants, which spent $2.2 billion in the first half of 2009, a 5-percent increase over the first half of 2008. Finally, spending on multi-function cell phones more than doubled to $233 million.

“While some of the larger categories have cut back spending, we see others that continue to raise the ante on their media investments,” says Annie Touliatos, vice president for Nielsen’s advertising information services. “What’s interesting is that we’re not just seeing a rise in spending for recession-friendly products like fast-food restaurants. We’re seeing a lot more promotion of technological innovations like smartphones, computer software and consumer-driven Web sites. These advertisers see potential for their products despite our stressed economy and are leveraging advertising to drive their success.”


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