New York--Ad spending overall is continuing its free fall, with magazines and daily newspapers getting hammered by the downturn but cable TV showing strong growth, according to new figures released by Competitive Media Reporting (CMR). Advertising spending for all media fell 5.9% to $47.5 billion in the first half of this year, compared with first-half 2000 spending of $50.4 billion, according to CMR. Ad spending in magazines in the first half of this year was $8.1 billion, down 4.5% from $8.48 billion during the first half of 2000. Daily newspapers were also hit hard, with advertisers spending $4.1 billion in their pages, down 6.6% from $4.4 billion a year earlier. Ad spending on national spot radio during the first half totaled $1.2 billion, down 22.4% from the $1.3 billion. Network TV ad spending totaled $10.4 billion, down 2.3% from the $10.7 billion spent during the first half of 2000.Cable TV spending totaled $5.52 billion during the first half of the year, up 4.6% from $5.3 billion a year earlier. Outdoor advertising also demonstrated marked growth, with advertisers spending $1.22 billion, up from $1.18 billion."Second-quarter results are not much of a surprise," said David Peeler, president-CEO of CMR. "After we saw ad spending drop 5% during the first quarter, we certainly did not expect an upswing during the second quarter." Peeler was pessimistic that a turnaround will happen anytime soon. "With the economy not showing near-term signs of rebounding, advertising will continue to fall victim to budget cuts within corporate America.," he said. "Until the overall economy experiences a turn for the better, we cannot anticipate a positive change for the advertising landscape this year." Several important b-to-b advertisers have taken an ax to their advertising budgets, according to figures released by CMR. General Motors Corp. spent $1.1 billion in the first half of this year, down 23.5% from $1.4 billion spent in the first half of 2000. Pfizer Inc. spent $405 million, down 1.7% from $412 million. CMR monitors advertising expenditures in a range of media for advertisers, ad agencies, radio and TV stations, and publishers.
--Philip B. Clark