Total advertising expenditures fell 12.3% in 2009, to $125.3 billion, as compared to 2008, according to Kantar Media.

Fourth quarter 2009 ad spending was off 6% compared to Q4 2008, with nearly all types of media improving upon their January-September performance.


Internet, FSIs Up
Internet display advertising expenditures increased 7.3% for the year, aided by sharply higher spending from the telecom, factory auto and travel categories.

The only other media type achieving full-year growth was Free Standing Inserts (FSIs), up 3% as CPG marketers targeted value-conscious shoppers with couponing programs.

TV Spending Outperforms Market
National TV media continued to outperform the overall ad market. Cable TV expenditures dropped just 1.4%, helped by an expanding amount of commercial time. Network TV was down 7.6%, while Spanish Language TV fell 8.9%.

Spot TV lagged far behind, down 23.7% compared to a 2008 period which was bolstered by record amounts of political advertising.

Print, Radio and Outdoor Lag
Print media were hit by large reductions across a broad range of advertisers. Newspaper ad spending fell 19.7% for the year, while Sunday magazine expenditures declined 11%. Consumer Magazines were down 16.6%.

Radio was down 20.3% for the year and 12.5% for the fourth quarter. Local radio was down 20.6% for the year, while national spot radio was down 24.6%. Network radio was down just 8.7% for the year.

Outdoor ad spending was down 13.2% for the year, but just 5.4% for the fourth quarter.

Ad Spending by Advertisers
Spending by the top 10 advertisers of 2009 was down just 0.9% from 2008. Among the
top 50 marketers, a diversified group representing one-third of the measured ad economy, 2009 spending fell 5.1%. At the other end of the spectrum, small advertisers – defined as those ranked outside the Top 1,000 – trimmed their collective budgets by 20.3%.


Procter & Gamble was again the largest advertiser, with spending down 15.6% versus a year ago. Verizon Communications held onto the second position with a drop of 6.9%.

Three of the top advertisers posted healthy double-digit gains. Wal-Mart upped its budgets by 35.4% behind the launch of its “Save Money, Live Better” campaign. Pfizer spending rose 32.7% as the company boosted marketing support for Lipitor. Sprint Nextel, battling for market share against its larger wireless rivals, hiked expenditures by 29.9%.

General Motors, despite a 30% drop in vehicles sold, spent 1.3% more on media advertising and was the only auto company in the Top 10 rankings.

Ad Spending by Category
Expenditures for the 10 largest advertising categories fell 10.7% in 2009. Automotive was the top category with total spending down 23.4% from the prior year. Fourth quarter figures were markedly brighter, a decline of just 0.9%. Dealers continued to cut budgets more severely than manufacturers in the face of withering sales. Auto category spending has now declined for 18 consecutive quarters.


Telecom was the second largest category with a gain of 1.6%. Results were driven by the fierce competition among wireless carriers and TV service providers.

Two other categories also finished the year with higher spending. Food & candy was up 3.5% as many leading marketers took advantage of lower ad prices and strategically increased support for key brands. Pharmaceutical expenditures rose 3.9% on the strength of well-funded marketing launches for several newly approved prescription drugs.

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