Advertisers Hedge Bets On Media Options, Odds Improve For Online Media Brands

Amid weakening economic conditions, U.S. ad executive plan to hedge more of their bets when planning and committing advertising budgets across the media over the next six months, according to the Fall 2008 edition of a semi-annual study tracking the economic perceptions of top marketers and ad agency media executives. The study, the Media Economy Report by Advertiser Perceptions Inc., finds that U.S. ad executives are expanding the number of "media brands" they are considering to buy over the next six months to an overall total of 53 from 46 in API's last survey in the Spring and 48 in its Fall 2007 survey last year.

While the expansion in the number of media options being considered may be seen as an optimistic sign, it's also potentially pessimistic for media outlets that will need to vie amid a broader competitive set of alternatives to get a slice of advertising budgets.

The expansion, however, appears to be mostly impacting online and TV media, while the number of print options being considered is actually declining.



The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 advertisers and agency executives, found that the average number of online media brands being considered is grown to 18 from 14 last Spring and 17 last year, while the number of TV brands has risen to 22 from 21 last Spring and 16 last year. The number of print brands being considered has declined to 13 from 15 a year ago, though it is up from 11 last Spring.

Meanwhile, the number of media brands the ad executives said they actually plan to place ads in over the next six months is expanding for online media, but is declining for TV and print media outlets.

Respondents said they "will place ads" in seven online media brands over the next six months, up from only four last Spring and six last year. The number of TV brands being bought has declined to eight from nine last year, though it is even with last Spring. The number of print brands has dipped to five from six last Spring, though it is even with last year.

The data reveals that online media brands being considered for advertising budgets over the next six months have a 2.6-to-1 chance of actually making it on the buy, and improvement from a 2.8-to-1 ratio a year ago. The odds for print media brands, meanwhile, has grown worse, increasing to odds of 3-to-1 from 2.6-to-1 a year ago, while the odds for TV brands remains the same at 2.8-to-1.

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