Spain's ad spending drops 29%

Only Internet spending climbed in first six months of 2009

MADRID -- Spain's total advertising spend plummeted to €2.5 billion ($3.5 billion) in the first half of the year, a 29% drop compared with the same period in 2008, ad market monitoring firm Infoadex reported Tuesday.

Among the nine media monitored, only the Internet saw gains, up 2.6% to €113.5 million ($161 million) in the first six months of this year.

But Infoadex noted that ad spend on the new media was slowing dramatically and only accounted for 7% of the total.

Total television advertising, the largest market, fell 30% to €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) during the January to June reporting period.

However, La Sexta alone among the private channels, registered a 13% rise to €97 million ($138 million) while ad spend on the new free-to-air digital terrestrial channels jumped to €24 million ($34 million) from €9 million ($12.7 million) in first half 2008.

Advertising in daily newspapers, the country's second-biggest market, dropped 33% to €539 million ($766 million). Sunday papers and magazines suffered falls of 42% and 37% respectively.

But the platform which suffered worse were the movie theaters which experienced a 47% dive in ad spend to €5.8 million ($8.2 million).

Infoadex warned that the total advertising market in Spain could contract by €5.7 billion ($8.1 billion) this year and that the situation was causing significant job losses and ad agency closures with no relief in sight until late 2010.