New York--Year-to-date ad spending was down 18.6% compared with last year, according to the September Business Information Network (BIN) report from American Business Media and CMR. Hardest hit was finance, business and advertising, which was down 31.4% compared with last year, followed by services, direct response and classified (down 22.2%) and software (down 22.1%). Year-to-date ad pages were down 17.7% from last year, the report showed. Similarly, finance, business and advertising took the hardest hit in ad pages, down 28.9% from last year. Telecommunications ad pages were down 26.7% and software ad pages were down 22.7%. For the month of September, ad spending declined 26.8% compared with September 2000. Telecommunications took a huge hit in September, with ad spending down 51.9% for the month. Finance, business and advertising was down 42.4% in September, and manufacturing & electrical equipment, materials and components saw a 29.6% drop.Total ad pages in September dropped 24.9% from September 2000.