Memo Pad: Media Stampede for Obama... Ad Pages Fall Hard in '08...

For President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, the media head count should exceed any previous attendance.


AD PAGES FALL HARD IN 2008: Publishers Information Bureau released its final ad page totals for magazine advertising on Tuesday and, as expected, business for 2008 was grim, with the fourth quarter reflecting the impact of the broader recession on advertising spending in print. The bureau reported that ad pages across magazines fell 11.7 percent for the year compared with 2007. The fourth quarter alone saw ad pages shrink 17.1 percent compared with the same period in 2007. And the drop off accelerated throughout 2008 — pages were off 6.4 percent in the first quarter, followed by an 8.2 percent decline in the second quarter and a 12.9 percent drop in the third. Leading the drag on ad pages was the beleaguered automotive sector, which saw a near 25 percent contraction in the number of pages in magazines this year. Home furnishings and supplies recorded an 18 percent drop, and financial, insurance and real estate reported a 17 percent fall. And once the recession fully took hold this fall, things only got worse. Financial advertising fell 37 percent for the fourth quarter, home furnishing ads fell 23 percent and auto advertising was off 26 percent. — Stephanie D. Smith

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