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FURTHER PROOF: In all, there were 169,217.76 advertising pages sold in U.S. magazines last year, down 25.6 percent from 2008, according to figures released Tuesday by Publishers Information Bureau. This means a total of 58,340.76 ad pages went missing in 2009 books, where rate card-reported advertising revenue fell 18.1 percent compared with 2008, closing the year at $19.45 billion. But there were morsels of good news to be found.
Propelled by cooking ingredients ads, the food and food products advertising category showed continued gains in revenue and pages in the fourth quarter, ending the year with a 1.4 percent overall revenue increase and a 5.2 percent decline in pages — the biggest (and only) gain and smallest drop, respectively, across the 12 major advertising categories.
Meanwhile, in the fourth quarter of 2009, some advertising subcategories, such as household cleaners, drugs, toiletries and fitness products, saw revenue and ad page increases, while four major categories — including toiletries and cosmetics, and automotive — had better (though still down) fourth-quarter results than they had in the first three quarters of last year. And for the first time since fourth-quarter 2007, the automotive category posted only single-digit revenue declines in the last quarter of 2009. Take it where you can get it. PIB bases its advertising spending figures on magazine rate cards, although many titles regularly discount. — Nick Axelrod