The dark clouds have parted and advertising spending is poised for a roaring comeback. Wait, what?
Well, it's true if you believe what advertisers and marketers say they plan to do over the next 12 months, according to the latest survey of more than 3,200 of them conducted by Advertiser Perceptions and released on Monday.
The economy may be stalled and consumers are treading cautiously, but the survey found ad and marketing execs at the biggest consumer brands more optimistic about raising their ad spending than at any point in the last four years. Indeed, optimism is higher today than the spring of 2007 -- the maw of the last boom -- according to the executives responsible for allocating marketing dollars to print, digital, TV and mobile.
Advertiser Perceptions conducts the survey every six months, and while sentiment stalled six months ago, it has rebounded again, with both agency and marketer execs in agreement: spending is going up. "The biggest surprise was that in the face of what appears to be a weakening economy, optimism is not just maintaining but increasing among advertisers," said CEO Ken Pearl.
As with any recovery, the comeback won't be evenly distributed. But here's where it gets interesting: confidence in digital and mobile -- the usual beneficiaries of increasing spend -- is flat. It's still high, but the data suggests that marketers feel they're spending sufficient dollars there. "They're not planning to reduce spending in digital and mobile, they plan to maintain it," Mr. Pearl said.
The big increases in sentiment are going to old media. Marketers say they plan to increase cable and broadcast TV, as well as -- wait for it -- national newspapers and magazines, left for dead during the downturn.