CMR Shows Flat First-Half

There’s enough to like in the new CMR report on first-half advertising data. The overall number is not one of them.

CMR, known as one of the more conservative ad research suppliers, says ad expenditures dropped .2% for the first half. Considering that the first half of 2001 was dismal, this is not a great addition to any arguments for an ad comeback. Losing media categories included national syndication (-12%), consumer magazines (-4%) and cable TV (-10 %). Winners included internet (2%) network TV (4%) and a huge jump for Spanish language TV (26%).

CMR/TNS estimates that total ad spending for the first half of 2002 came in at $53.7 billion, compared to $53.8 billion for the same timeframe in 2001. CMR president David Peeler saw the bright side of the data. “The health of the market is steadily coming back to life," he said David Peeler. "Compared to the dramatic plummets in spending throughout the course of 2001, to be down by less that 1 percent in expenditures is a positive step in the right direction for ad recovery."

Spanish language TV had been tracking well ahead of any other media through the first six months of the year. The still the amount of the increase was surprising. The largest Spanish-language network, Univision, recently reported second quarter 2002 net revenue at $322.8 million compared to $237.5 million in 2001. Television Group revenue in 2002 was $300.8 million compared to $235.1 million in 2001.

General Motors Corp. remains the top ad spender in the first half of 2002 at $1.1 billion. Despite the uncertainty plaguing the telecommunications industry, Verizon Communications increased its ad budgets by 38.4 percent, far and away the largest year growth among the top spenders. Other strong gains came from Proctor & Gamble Co. and Pfizer Inc., spending 23.8 percent and 21.8 percent respectively.