Online Display Ad Spending Dips 6% Through Q3
Other sectors downsizing display ad budgets included Web media, down 15% to $1.1 billion; travel, falling 7% to $304 million; and retail goods and services, slipping 4% to $833 million.
The declines were offset partly by surging ad dollars in the automotive and entertainment categories, which jumped 32% and 29%, respectively. The continued growth in auto advertising online contrasts sharply with the 8% spending fall-off in the category offline.
Highlighting automakers' growing focus on the Web, General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner told Congress last month that the company planned to shift "a huge amount of our ad budget that remains" to digital market as part of cost-saving measures to help stave off insolvency.
But Internet spending is still close to a rounding error compared to traditional media budgets by auto marketers: $438,664 versus $7.8 billion in the first nine months of 2008.
The cut in financial services spending online from $1.9 billion to $1.4 billion, meanwhile, was consistent with the overall decline in the sector stemming from the financial crisis. Nielsen said earlier this month that financial ad dollars fell 10% from $5.9 billion to $5.3 billion.
The segment has been hit especially hard by a dramatic pullback by mortgage and loan companies, including Web-based businesses, which are spending 62%--or $788 million-less on advertising than a year ago.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau in November reported that overall online ad spending--including search--hit $5.9 billion, up 11% from the year-earlier period. For the first nine months of 2008, it has gained 14% to $17.3 billion. But Web advertising has been essentially flat from quarter to quarter this year, and is expected to grow only around 10% this year, compared to 25% in 2007.