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Report: Ad spending still falling

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Ad spending overall is continuing its steady decline, with magazines, daily newspapers and network TV in particular getting hammered, according to new figures from Competitive Media Reporting.

Bucking the trend were cable and syndicated TV and outdoor, which showed healthy gains.

Advertising spending for all media fell 5.8% to $47.5 billion in the first half of this year, compared with first-half 2000 spending of $50.4 billion, according to CMR.

Magazine ad spending totaled $8.1 billion in the first half, down 4.7% from $8.5 billion during the first half of 2000. Daily newspapers were also hit hard, with advertisers spending $4.1 billion in their pages, down 6.9% from $4.4 billion a year earlier.

Network TV ad spending totaled $10.4 billion, down 2.8% from the $10.7 billion spent during the first half of 2000.

Cable TV, outdoor grow

Cable TV spending, meanwhile, totaled $5.5 billion during the first half of the year, up 3.8% f rom $5.3 billion a year earlier. Outdoor advertising also demonstrated marked growth, with advertisers spending $1.2 billion, up 1.7% from $1.18 billion in the first half of 2000.

Syndicated TV also demonstrated marked growth, with advertisers spending $1.6 billion on the medium in the first half of this year, up 6.7% from $1.5 billion in 2000.

B-to-b marketers are among the keenest cable TV advertisers. IBM Corp., for example, often runs enterprise-oriented ads on cable channels such as Bravo!, and FedEx Corp. runs ads on Animal Planet.

B-to-b advertisers are increasingly being drawn to cable TV because of its niche-oriented nature, said Jim Spaeth, president of the Advertising Research Foundation. "It’s the ability to target," he said.

Outdoor advertising is a good venue for b-to-b because it allows advertisers to switch messages on short notice, said George Shababb, senior VP at CMR. It is also often less expensive than TV and print advertising. "It may be more cost-effective than other mediums," Shababb said.

Several important 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 21.5% 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.

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