Decrease in US ad expenditure


A new report from TNS Media Intelligence reveals that total US advertising expenditures slipped in the first half of 2007 by 0.3% to $72.59 billion, versus the same period a year ago, with broadcast television continuing to post significant half-year declines.

Internet display advertising maintained its growth leadership position, registering a 17.7% increase to $5.52 billion. Consumer magazines posted a 6.9% gain to $11.5 billion. Outdoor expenditures were up 3.6% to $1.9 billion and cable TV followed with a 2.8% increase to $8.38 billion.

However, broadcast TV media continued to experience weakness in the second quarter. Network TV expenditures fell 3.6% to $11.84 billion, while ad spending on Spot TV dropped 5.4% to $7.29 billion. Syndication TV was down 5.3% to $2 billion. And Spanish-language TV fell 1.2% to $2.13 billion.

During the first half of 2007, the top 10 advertisers spent a combined total of $9 billion, a reduction of 2.2% from last year. Second quarter spending for this select group was up slightly, rebounding from a steep 5.1% decline during the first three months. The top spot remains with Procter & Gamble with $1.6 billion, a 1.8% gain. AT&T expenditures were off 12.5% to $1.1 billion. Increased spending behind core wireless businesses contributed to higher outlays at Verizon Communications, which was up 8.8% to $1.04 billion, and Sprint Nextel was up 13.5%, to $689.2 million. At Time Warner, also included in the top 10 advertisers, the virtual elimination of advertising support for the AOL service led to a 7.9% reduction in total advertising, to $793.3 million. Disney, in the number nine spot, was down 2.6% to $663.8 million.

In terms of brand appearances in prime-time and late-night programming, in the second quarter of 2007 an average hour of monitored prime-time network programming contained 8 minutes, 4 seconds of in-show brand appearances and 17 minutes, 25 seconds of commercial messages. The combined total of 25 minutes, 29 seconds of marketing content represents 42% of a prime-time hour.
Unscripted reality programming had an average of 11 minutes, 52 seconds per hour of brand appearances as compared to just 5 minutes, 34 seconds per hour for scripted programs such as sitcoms and dramas. Late-night network talk shows had even higher levels, averaging 14 minutes, 12 seconds per hour. The combined load of brand appearances and ad messages in these shows reached 35 minutes, 55 seconds per hour, or 60 percent of total content time.

"For the first time since 2001, media advertising expenditures have declined for two consecutive quarters," said Steven Fredericks, the president and CEO of TNS Media Intelligence. "While the protracted downturn in automotive spending has been a prime contributor, the overall results reflect weakness across a wide range of industries and advertisers. Given the uncertainties about near-term economic growth and consumer spending, we expect core ad spending will continue to face challenges during the second half of the year."


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