Automakers Cut Ad Spending, Hurting Print, Radio

TNS Media Intelligence Releases First-Half Data

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NEW YORK ( -- Newspapers just can't get a break, as demonstrated by the latest TNS Media Intelligence report for the first half of 2006. Not only are they struggling to maintain ad dollars because of the internet's increasing market share, but now they are losing money from the auto industry.
Spending cuts by carmakers has taken away ad dollars from newspapers, magazines and radio.
Spending cuts by carmakers has taken away ad dollars from newspapers, magazines and radio.

Overall spending up
Although total advertising expenditures increased 4.1% in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, foreign and domestic auto industries drastically reduced their ad spending. The auto industry spent a total of $748 million less than at this time last year and has reduced spending by $1.4 billion over the last four quarters.

And it's taking away ad dollars from newspapers, magazines and radio, said Steven Fredericks, president-CEO of TNS Media Intelligence. For example, auto-industry spending on local newspapers is down more than $600 million, or 27% over the first half of last year, Mr. Fredericks said.

'Under pressure'
"You're hitting some categories that not only are under pressure because of shifts of dollars from traditional media to the internet, but then you're getting traditional advertisers like automobiles that are reducing their spend. It's a double whammy," Mr. Fredericks said.

In spite of the massive decrease in automotive spending, General Motors Corp. was the only top 10 automobile spender to decrease spending. GM spending dropped 17.4% compared to this time last year, falling to $1.3 billion. But Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. both increased spending nearly 8% over this period last year.

Although spending on local newspapers is down 3.9% from last year at this time, the entire paper-based world isn't down and out. Dollars spent on national newspapers, consumer magazines, Sunday magazines and local magazines were up for the first half of 2006 when compared with the same period last year. But newspaper's market share decreased 1.3 points and fell behind magazines'.

The internet continued to increase its market share, accounting for 6.4% of ad spending, up from 5.6% a year ago.

Spanish-language media
A big winner this half was Spanish-language media. Outside of freestanding inserts, which saw 21% growth over this period last year, Spanish-language media grew 20.5%, or $409 million, to $2.4 billion. Marketers are increasing advertising to the Hispanic market, and dramatically increased their spends thanks to the World Cup, the report said. "We're still going to see some of the effects in the third quarter," Mr. Fredericks said, because the Cup extended into July.

TNS also released branded-entertainment figures. Rather than measure the number of occurrences, TNS measured the duration of each appearance. In the second quarter, during an average hour of prime-time network programming, viewers watched two minutes and 51 seconds of in-show brand appearances and more than 18 minutes of commercial messages.

Reality shows had the most brand appearances, at about seven minutes per hour, as compared to under a minute and a half for scripted entertainment. "The Apprentice" logged more than 25 minutes of brand appearances, while Fox's "Free Ride" held the top spot for brand appearances in a scripted show, with just over 15 minutes.
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