Ad Confidence Dips, Remains Near Historic High, Especially Digital

The confidence of ad executives -- both advertisers and agencies -- to increase their media spending has fallen slightly from the same period last year, but remains near its all-time high since an ad industry perceptions researcher began tracking it in the spring of 2007. The Ad Optimism Index fell one point to a 22 this spring from a high of 23 last spring.

The index, which is the numeric index between the percentage of advertisers predicting their budgets will rise vs. those who expect it to decline, is up 27 points from from its lowest point in the spring of 2009, when the index fell to a -5 in the aftermath of the financial industry crisis.

The index, which was created by ad perception tracking firm Advertiser Perceptions, indicates the primary drivers of ad spending optimism continue to be digital media, especially for mobile, video and programmatic budgets.

Digital’s net index rose to a 51 this spring -- up 10 points from a 41 last spring, but down from its historic high of 60 in the spring of 2010. While mobile rose six points to a 49 index this spring from a 43 last spring, it is down from a high of 66 in the fall of 2010.



Among discrete digital media options, media has the highest overall index (46), followed by video sites like YouTube and Hulu (34), and programmatic and video ad networks (27 each).

Among “traditional” media, ad optimism remains highest for cable TV, which rose to a 22 this spring -- matching a historic high set in the spring of 2013 -- and rising a point from an index of 21 last spring.

The softest media continue to be print media, especially newspapers and consumer magazines, which improved from previous seasons, but remain at a -6 and a -3 index, respectively.

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