U.S. ad spending fell 15.4 percent — over $10.3 billion — in the first half of 2009 compare to the first six months of 2008. Network TV and syndicated TV fell with only cable television showing improvement compared to the same period last year.
Ad spending in the United States for the first half of 2009 declined over $10.3 billion to a total of $56.9 billion, a drop of 15.4 percent compared to the first half of 2008, according to The Nielsen Co.
Network TV fell seven percent compared to the first two quarters of 2008, while syndicated TV dropped 11.6 percent. Cable TV was the only category to show growth in the first six months, up 1.5 percent — Nielsen had earlier reported Cable TV ad spending down 2.7 percent through the first quarter this year. Spanish-language Cable also saw a slight uptick (0.6 percent).
Automotive ad spending once again was the largest product category, despite cutting back 31%, or $1.68 billion. Local auto dealerships also cut spending significantly, declining 26.2% in the first half of 2009.
Quick Service Restaurants continued thriving through the economic downturn, the industry placed second among all industries with an ad spend of $2.2 billion. Direct Response Products, meanwhile, showed the largest growth (6.7 percent) among the top 10 industries.
Multifunction mobile phones — smartphones and PDAs — notched the highest percentage change among all categories that spent a minimum of $200 million, with a 104% surge in spending. Cable TV Services also picked up its ad spending 62%, to almost $500 million, a direct result of ad buys this year leading up to June’s DTV transition.