Ad spending flat in '07

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WASHINGTON -- Nielsen Monitor-Plus data painted a less than rosy picture of the 2007 advertising market, with 10 of 16 categories showing year-over-year declines.

Overall ad spending was flat. Internet ad spending was up 19% compared with a year ago, with national magazine and outdoor spending up by high single digits. National Sunday supplements were up 5%, while national cable TV ad revenue rose 2% and Spanish-language TV ad revenue was up 1.5%.

All other categories were down, with local and national newspapers falling the most -- each by about 8%. Network TV was down 1.5%, and the top spot-TV markets were down 5%. Smaller-market spot TV dropped 2% year-over-year, no doubt in large part because of poor comparisons with 2006's heavy political and Olympics ad spending.

Among the top 10 advertisers, spending dropped 4% compared with a year ago, and seven of the top 10 showed declines. Procter & Gamble remained No. 1 with a 6% jump in spending, while AT&T and Verizon also boosted spending. General Motors, the third-biggest advertiser of the year, cut spending by 12%. Also dropping were Ford, Time Warner, Cerberus (which owns Chrysler), Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and Disney.

The top ad category remained by far automotive, with $12.3 billion for 2007. That was down 11% compared with a year ago.

Product placement, however, increased on the networks. Nielsen Product Placement Service said the number of placements increased 13% to 25,950 in primetime broadcast TV. The top remained Fox's "American Idol" (4,349), with "The Biggest Loser," "Fast Cars and Superstars," "America's Next Top Model" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" rounding out the top five. Product placement on cable fell 9%, while two TLC series, "American Chopper" and "Miami Ink," were the top shows.

Nielsen Monitor-Plus is owned by the Nielsen Co., parent company of The Hollywood Reporter.
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