Italian TV advertising takes dip

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ROME -- Television advertising accounted for less than half of Italy's overall advertising expenditure, advertising sector association Assocumunicazione said Wednesday, the first time the small screen's share of the ad market has dipped so low in the 20 years that figures have been kept.

Television advertising remains the largest destination for advertising by far, with 49.8% of the total ad spend through the first five months of the year. But a slow erosion in TV spending, combined with a 41.5% jump in online spending, a 7% increase in print spending and a 2.5% rise in radio ad spending, all worked to reduce television's total take in percentage terms.

One subsector that saw its market share grow was satellite television, which saw its bottom line increase by 9.5%.

As recently as 1999, television advertising represented 65% of the country's total advertising expenditure.

According to Silvio Lillini, an independent Milan-based ad buyer, the benchmark helps to call attention to a long-term trend.

"This was bound to happen eventually," Lillini said in an interview. "Fewer people are watching television for less time each day."

According to Assocumunicazione, Italy's two largest broadcasters suffered most of the losses: Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset and state broadcaster RAI.
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