Sputter Alert: Quarterly Ad Growth Falls To 0.1%, Outlook Remains Muted
"Marketers are being cautious with their core ad budgets faced with concerns about consumer spending and corporate profits," stated TNS MI Senior Vice President-Research Jon Swallen, who in recent quarters has described the slowdown in U.S. ad spending as more of a "stagflation" than a "recession," as smaller and mid-size advertisers have cut back due to economic volatility.
TNS MI said overall spending across the media it monitors few only 0.2% to $149 billion in the U.S. during calendar 2007, but the rate of growth actually ebbed to just 0.1% during the fourth quarter.
Online media remained the strongest sector among the major media, with Internet display advertising growing 15.9% in 2007 to $11.31 billion, according to TNS MI's estimates. Rate card revenue estimates for consumer magazines registered a 7.0% percent gain to $24.43 billion on the strength of higher spending by consumer packaged goods marketers.
Cable TV spending surged in the second half and finished 2007 at $17.84 billion, an increase of 6.5%.
Outdoor advanced by 4.9% to $4.02 billion.
Among television media, full-year Network TV expenditures declined by 2.% to $22.43 billion. Spot TV, in the face of difficult comparisons against record-setting levels of 2006 political advertising, plummeted 10.2% to $15.59 billion. Syndication TV fell 1.5% to $4.17 billion.
Ad spending declines in newspaper and radio media accelerated during the fourth quarter. For the full year, Local Newspapers were down 5.6% to $22.66 billion and aggregate radio expenditures slipped 3.5% to $10.69 billion. Both media suffered from spending reductions by automotive, media and retail advertisers.
Procter & Gamble was again the largest advertiser with $3,486.5 million in spending, up 5.6% versus a year ago. Verizon Communications posted the highest growth rate among the top 10, up 11.1% to $2,136.5 million behind higher spending for its core wireless division and FiOS television service. The largest decrease in the group was from General Motors, where 2007 outlays fell 7.7% to $2,106.4 million. However, aggressive model re-launches from its Chevrolet and Cadillac divisions contributed to a fourth quarter spending surge of 24.5%.