Ad Spending Optimism Returns To Pre-Recession Levels, Outlook Improving For Every Medium

The optimism of ad executives to boost their advertising budgets has risen to its highest point in two years, and is now at pre-recessionary levels, according to the most recent in a series of periodic surveys gauging the long-term confidence of advertisers and agency media-buying executives. The study -- based on an index of executives who plan to boost their ad spending over the next 12 months versus those who plan to decrease it -- currently stands at a positive difference of four percentage points, the highest level since the fall of 2007, when the index stood at positive eight percentage points.

"We're ecstatic," says Ken Pearl, a partner of Advertiser Perceptions Inc., a media industry research firm that tracks perceptions that ad executives have about media.

"Things are definitely showing signs of improvement," he continues, adding that when looked at the basis of advertisers and agency executives responsible for budgets in specific bellwether categories such as financial services, entertainment and pharmaceuticals, the overall trend has definitely grown more positive than it is negative.

The most recent survey, which was fielded this month, shows that ad-spending sentiment is now improving for every medium tracked -- even for some traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and broadcast, which continue to have an overall negative index.

"They're still negative, on balance, but they're improving. They're moving in the right direction now," says Pearl.

The outlook for most electronic media, especially digital options such as online and mobile media, is well in the positive range and also continues to improve (see table below).

The positive index for all digital media -- both online and mobile -- rose from 40 percentage points in the spring 2009 survey to 55 percentage points in the just-completed fall survey.

The positive index for cable TV jumped to 11 percentage points from one percentage point last spring.

Ad Optimism Is Improving For Most Media, High For Mobile/Online

 

 

 

 

 

"Optimism"

Status

Trend

Mobile

54

Optimistic

Improving

Online

54

Optimistic

Improving

Cable TV

+11

Optimistic

Improving

Outdoor

-13

Optimistic

Improving

Broadcast TV

-8

Pessimistic

Improving

Radio

-16

Pessimistic

Improving

Magazines

-19

Pessimistic

Improving

National Newspapers

-41

Pessimistic

Improving

Local Newspapers

-35

Pessimistic

Improving

 

Source: Advertiser Perceptions Inc. "Optimism" is defined by the number of percentage points separating the percentages of respondents citing plans to increase or decrease their advertising budgets in each medium over the next six months. Trends are based over three bi-monthly tracking reports conducted so far this year.

 
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