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STATISTICAL PROOF: Total advertising expenditures during the first nine months of this year declined 14.7 percent versus last year, according to new data from TNS Media Intelligence. During the third quarter, ad spending fell 15.3 percent, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines. Internet display ads rose 7 percent for the first nine months, but just about every other category was down, with magazines falling 19.7 percent, newspapers declining 22.8 percent and television dropping 12.1 percent.
For the first three quarters of the year, the top 10 advertisers spent a combined $11.7 billion, down 5.9 percent. Procter & Gamble, in the top spot, spent 15.9 percent less during the period, falling to $1.94 billion. Verizon followed, down 5.8 percent to $1.69 billion, General Motors dropped 15.5 percent to $1.35 billion and AT&T’s ad spend fell 6.1 percent to $1.33 billion. Johnson & Johnson came in at number five, down 1.3 percent to $1.03 billion, followed by News Corp., falling 9.4 percent to $947 million, while Sprint Nextel Corp. posted a dramatic increase in spending, up 51.1 percent to $912 million. Pfizer was also up 11.9 percent to $896 million, followed by Time Warner, down 10.7 percent to $874 million, and General Electric fell 12.9 percent to $763 million.
Overall, the top category for the first nine months was automotive, with spending down 30.8 percent to $7.4 billion. Telecom was essentially flat, at $6.1 billion, followed by financial services, down 23.7 percent to $5.67 billion, and local services and amusements fell 15 percent to $5.6 billion. Meanwhile, direct response advertising dropped 12 percent to $4.9 billion, while miscellaneous retail as a category fell 17.4 percent to $4.75 billion. Food and candy spending declined 2.2 percent to $4.54 billion, restaurants fell 2.4 percent to $4.2 billion, personal care products declined 9.2 percent to $4.08 billion and pharmaceuticals was flat, spending $3.48 billion during the period.
Even though spending continues to decline, ZenithOptimedia said Tuesday the ad market has stabilized and will grow by almost 1 percent next year. The agency, which issued its first upgrade to 2010 in 18 months, also predicted ad spending will grow by 5 percent in 2012. — A. W.