Onscreen advertising in Germany hit hard

Pre-feature ad revenue down 12% in theaters

BERLIN -- Revenue from pre-feature advertising in German movie theaters dropped sharply last year, falling more than 12% to 73 million euros ($96 million), according to Nielsen Media.

While German boxoffice revenue enjoyed a slight boost, climbing 3.5% to just over $1 billion and the overall ad market held steady in 2008, cinema advertising took a major hit.

The global economic crisis, the effects of which are only starring to be felt here, has yet to impact the TV ad business. Nielsen figures show a healthy 4.5% jump in revenues to $12 billion in 2008.

But the onscreen ad drop could be a sign of a broader trend. Ludger Wibbelt, managing director of Nielsen Media in Germany, expects 2009 to be a difficult year all round for the German ad business.