The best performance in a weakening market was local TV advertising--down 3% in the period to $4 million. Syndication had it tougher, off 5.9% to $986.8 million. Network television hit a 6.5% decline to $6.7 billion.
Much of the local TV decline came from the big automotive category--the category to blame for other down sales periods. Automotive manufacturers' TV marketing dollars were down a big 8.9%. Auto dealer associations sank just 2.7%.
Other large categories that registered drops include insurance and real-estate advertising, down 14.9%. Leisure-time activities were 12.8% lower. Not surprisingly, big individual advertisers that made cuts include the General Motors Corp. Dealers Association, down 13.8%; Ford Motor Dealers Association was off 37.5%. DaimlerChrysler dropped 23.3%.
Good news for Verizon Communications--it was up 62.3%. AT&T grew 15.4% more versus the same period a year before. Nissan Motor Co. was up 19.7% during the period. McDonald's was 33.2% higher as well. Entertainment companies: Time Warner added 44.7%; Comcast Corp. was up 32.3% and National Amusements soared 130.1%.
Restaurants, the second-largest local TV ad category, was up 3.8%. Telecommunications, the third-largest category, was 7.1% higher.
The Television Bureau of Advertising, as well as other analysts, expected lower advertising data, since 2007 is a year without an Olympics and lower political ad revs.