Media Buyers Bearish on Ad Spending as Salespeople Work Harder

July 8, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Agency Business | Out-of-Home | Radio | Television

Advertisers and agency media buyers are growing increasingly pessimistic about spending in all major media, according to Advertiser Perceptions‘ Media Economy Report, a survey of media-buying executives, reports AdAge.

For every category of media, fewer advertisers expect to increase budgets this year than they did last year:


Among the 1,811 online, print, TV and mobile media decision makers who participated in the April/May 2008 survey, about 40% are from the marketer side, and 60% are from the agency side.

Overall, agencies are slightly less optimistic than marketers about ad spending plans:


Insights about specific media:

  • Buyers are most pessimistic about broadcast TV, magazines, newspapers, radio and outdoor. More respondents said they expect to decrease budgets in the next six months than said they would increase them.
  • 30% of respondents expect spending in broadcast TV and newspapers to decrease in the next six months, and only 14% said they expect it to increase.
  • 44% of respondents said they expect a decline in spending in national newspapers, and only 10% said they expect a rise.
  • Online, cable TV and mobile are the brightest spots for media buying, with higher percentages of buyers expecting to raise budgets than decrease them in those categories.
  • In online advertising, 72% of respondents anticipate increases in their company’s spending, while only 4% said they expected a decrease.
  • In cable TV, 28% said they expect growth in spending and 20% expect a drop.
  • In mobile, 53% said they expect an increase and 9% expect a decrease.

Media sellers also appear to be working harder to get and keep advertisers. Some 27% of respondents said they have had contact with media-brand salespeople (in person, on the phone or in email) in the past 30 days – up from only 14% last year.


There also is a decrease in the number of brands committed to advertising:

  • The overall number of brands that buyers are considering for online, TV and print buys in the next six months has dropped from 58 last year to 47 this year.
  • The total number of brands that buyers say they are committed to advertising within the next six months has fallen from 25 to 19.

Cost/price as a criterion for selecting media has remained relatively stable (nearly 50% of respondents rated cost/price as very important in online, TV, print and mobile), though advertising results are becoming increasingly important to media decision-makers.

About the research: The Wave Nine research for the Media Economy Report was conducted online in April/May 2008 among 1,811 decision makers involved in media selection on both the marketer and agency sides. Wave Eight was completed in Oct./Nov. 2007 and Wave Seven in April/May 2007.

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