Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ad spending 2009: Even media is buying less media

How brutal is the advertising market? Even big media isn't spending as much on big media.

Advertising tracker TNS Media Intelligence this morning issued the grim news that ad spending plummeted 14.3% to $60.87 billion during the first six months of 2009 compared with the first half of 2008. The second quarter of 2009 became the fifth consecutive quarter to post year-over-year declines.

Among those cutting back on advertising was media itself. Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Time Warner Inc. all reined in ad spending in the first half of the year. Spending by Time Warner was down 11.1% to $574.3 million; Disney expenditures were down 11.7% to $517.6 million; and News Corp. cut its ad spending by 6.9% to $672.3 million.

The cuts were partly because their movie studios released fewer films in an effort to lower marketing costs. TNS said that General Electric Co., which owns NBC Universal, was the only media firm to boost its advertising budget for the first six months of 2009, raising it by 5.1% to $548.3 million.

Not surprisingly, automotive, financial services, real estate, tourism and retail businesses took a cleaver to their marketing budgets. Even spending to promote basics such as food and candy was down. Oh Henry!

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