Ad Demand Rises Among All Media Buyers, Especially Bush Supporters

In the week leading up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election, media planning and buying executives appear to have a much stronger sense of demand for advertising in the major media than they've had so far this year. Forty one percent of executives participating in the MediaPost Advisory Panel said their demand for buying media time had increased relative to the same point a year ago when they were surveyed this week by InsightExpress. While that is well below the 55 percent of executives who cited increased demand in December 2003, the peak month since MediaPost began tracking advertising demand in August 2003, it is a significant improvement from September and is the highest level so far this year.

The overall stability of advertising demand also appears more stable than at any point during the tracking study, as only 5 percent of the panelists say their demand has decreased, the lowest percentage yet.

The relatively upbeat sense of demand comes even as mixed signals continue to exist in the advertising marketplace. Earlier this week, ad giant WPP Group said the "jury is still out" on the long-term ad recovery, and many leading ad forecasters continue to flip-flop on how sustainable ad demand actually is, though most tend to be revising upward.



On Wednesday, Procter & Gamble, the nation's leading advertiser, reported strong third-quarter earnings, which beat Wall Street estimates. The earnings strength of leading national advertisers is considered a strong indicator of forward advertising demand.

Media Buying Sentiment: October '04 Vs. Key Intervals

October '04 September '04 December '03
Increased: 41% 37% 55%
Stayed The Same: 54% 48% 39%
Decreased: 5% 15% 6%

Source: MediaPost and InsightExpress survey of media planners and buyers. October 2004 Base = 196. September 2004 Base = 225; December 2003 Base = 226 respondents.

The sense of demand, meanwhile, appears split across media and among buyers and planners in traditional and interactive agencies.

Online continues to reap the greatest relative demand, though that sentiment is far stronger among interactive agency executives. Cable TV continues to be the next strongest medium for all types of planners and buyers. Other media continue to lag.

Interestingly, demand for media time and space appears to be strongest among supporters of the Bush/Cheney ticket vs. the Kerry/Edwards ticket. Forty-seven percent of Bush's supporters said their demand for all media has improved relative to a year ago, while only 39 percent of Kerry's supporters felt that way. Kerry's supporters, however, had a far more stable view, with 57 percent saying their demand remained the same vs. 49 percent of Bush supporters. Only 4 percent of supporters of both tickets said demand had diminished.

October 2004 Ad Demand Index

How Ad Demand Has Changed Relative To The Same Point A Year Ago

----Increased---- -Stayed The Same- ----Decreased---
Online/Trad/Total Online/Trad/Total Online/Trad/Total
Online 73% 60% 64% 24% 37% 33% 3% 3% 3%
Cable 52% 57% 52% 39% 37% 41% 9% 6% 7%
Radio 29% 33% 32% 55% 47% 51% 16% 20% 17%
Outdoor 27% 31% 28% 52% 52% 54% 21% 17% 18%
Magazines 23% 23% 23% 54% 54% 57% 23% 23% 20%
Network TV 15% 24% 22% 60% 54% 55% 25% 22% 23%
Newspapers 14% 19% 18% 60% 56% 58% 26% 25% 24%
All Media 45% 44% 41% 50% 51% 54% 5% 5% 5%

Source: September 2004 MediaPost and InsightExpress survey of media planners and buyers. Base = 196 respondents. Online = Agency executives primarily involved in planning and buying online media. Traditional = Agency executives primarily involved in planning and buying traditional media.
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