Ad Spend: Net Up 23%; National Mags Show Nice 8.4% Gain

To no one's surprise, Internet ad spending again leaped by double digits in this year's first half--rising 23.2% to $3.7 billion, according to The Nielsen Company. But national magazines also had a notably strong period, growing 8.4% to reach $9.5 billion.

The 250 magazine members of the Magazine Publishers of America's Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) service gained 17% in drugs and remedies ad revenue in the first half, to reach $1.1 billion. Last year, drug advertising in PIB magazines increased 19%.

Toiletries and cosmetics, food, apparel, retail and media are among the other categories showing significant spend growth in PIB consumer magazines.

"Marketers are recognizing that magazines excel in areas critical to success: building purchasing intent, increasing traffic to advertisers' Web sites and stimulating search activity," says MPA's EVP/CMO Ellen Oppenheim, citing recent data along these lines from Deloitte and Touche, BIGResearch, Jupiter, Dynamic Logic and Marketing Evolution.

However, Nielsen reports that local magazines were down 5.2% (to $254.8 million), a result of declines in spend among print media companies, realtors, restaurants and tourism, according to Brian Lane, SVP/client strategy and development for Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Also, B-to-B magazine spend decreased by 5.7%, to $2.1 billion. (Travel, media and building magazines were among the hardest-hit.)

Other media experiencing ad growth in the first half were national Sunday supplements (up 6.5%, to $548 million); outdoor (up 5.1%, to $1.8 billion) and spot TV markets 101-210 (up 3.2%, to $621 million).

However, 10 of the 16 media tracked saw declines. In addition to local and B-to-B magazines, these included: network radio down 8.5%, to $525.3 million; local newspapers down 8%, to $6.4 billion; national newspapers down 5.9%, to 880.6 million; local Sunday supplements down 4.7%, to $28 million; spot TV 1-100 down 4.6%, to $10.9 billion; network TV down 3.8%, to $12.1 billion; spot radio down 1.8%, to $3.4 billion, and cable TV down 0.3%, to $11.5 billion. Spanish-language TV was flat (up 0.2%, to $1.5 billion).

Overall spend was down 0.5%.

Spending was down in most major categories: automotive (-10%), department stores (-7%), automotive dealerships (-5%), and quick-serve and standard restaurants (both down 2%). However, pharmaceuticals and direct response products each grew by 7%, and wireless telephone services grew by 6%. Furniture store spending was flat.

In the automotive category, Ford's slight increase in spending (up 2.1%, to $871 million) did little to offset a nearly 28% decrease at General Motors (down to $954 million), a 5.2% decrease at Toyota (down to $628 million) and a 4.4% decrease at Chrysler (down to $588 million).

Outside of Ford, Kraft was the only other Top 10 advertiser to increase spend (by just 0.4%, to $608 million). (Check the related chart on Marketing Daily's home page for details.)

Product placements continued to thrive, at least on broadcast TV. Nielsen reports 17,731 PP occurrences in this year's first half among the top 10 users, versus 14,643 during last year's first half.

"American Idol" was again the #1 show for placements, with 4,349 for the period (versus 4,086 in first-half 2006). "Fast Cars and Superstars," which premiered in June, holds second place, with 3,231 occurrences. Other favorite placement venues include "Amazing Race All Stars," "Pussycat Dolls Present" and "Extreme Makeover Home Edition."

Coca-Cola (3,054 occurrences) was the largest user of broadcast network placements. Others among the top 10 were Nike apparel (511), Dell (396) and Hewlett-Packard (315). Placements on cable networks declined, from 107,792 in first-half 06 to 92,925 in this year's first half. "American Chopper" (29,476), "Dog the Bounty Hunter" (12,321), "Miami Ink" (10,892) and "Overhaulin" (7,556) were the placement shows of choice. Top users of these shows included brands like Orange County Choppers (apparel and motorcycles) and Oakley Sunglasses, although Nike also made the cable top 10 list.

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