The survey was conducted by the Association of National Advertisers. In August, as the economic malaise was setting in, a similar survey had 21% saying budgets would be slashed.
In the latest survey, while nearly 40% of marketers plan on the considerable 20% reduction, a large number also plan cuts--although at a lesser level. Some 77% said media budgets are likely to be reduced.
Advertisers are exercising options that allow them to reduce their network upfront commitments at levels that could accelerate over the next few weeks.
Also in the survey, some 68% said they are "challenging agencies to reduce internal expenses and/or identify cost reductions." And some 48% said they "are looking at reducing agency compensation," up from 32% in August.
"In the current economic environment, there's a need for brand-building that's right for the times, that acknowledges consumers' financial circumstances, and offers them products, services and solutions that meet their needs," said Bob Liodice, ANA president- CEO.
"For some marketers, that will mean skewing their media mix toward promotional spending and direct marketing," he noted. "For others, it will mean framing a new, relevant and timely brand message."