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Marketers, Agencies Start to Consider More Ad Spending

Advertiser Optimism Report: All Media, Not Just Digital, Could Benefit

By Published on . 1

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Whether the arrows on the chart indicating upward movement turn out to just be a slight bump off the bottom of the market or the start of a long and constant climb, marketers and agencies, according to Advertiser Perceptions' latest Advertiser Optimism Report for Fall 2009, are feeling more optimistic about increasing ad spending in all media. And yes, that even includes local newspapers and magazines.

Advertiser Optimism: Making a ComebackEnlarge
Advertiser Optimism: Making a Comeback

The study, which surveyed more than 1,500 marketer and agency media decision makers between September and October of this year, found that, among these groups, overall optimism as it relates to ad spending over the next 12 months is improving. And, according to the study, it's not just the new flashy media like digital and mobile that the industry is amped about as more traditional outlets start to generate some, albeit slight, positive momentum.

Ken Pearl, CEO of Advertiser Perceptions, said the results are significant because it reverses a two-year trend of a growing overall sense of pessimism among marketers and agencies.

"We were going in a downward spiral as it relates to optimism for the past two years," Mr. Pearl said. "And all of a sudden we are seeing significant movement in the other direction."

Using an index where zero is neutral representing neither pessimism or optimism, the fall 2009 report showed cable TV to have an optimism index of 11 compared to one four months ago; mobile an index of 54 compared to 42 in the spring; and digital to have an index of 55, up from 40 four months earlier. And while broadcast TV (-8 vs. -17); magazines (-19 vs. -26); and national newspapers (-41 vs. -46) all had negative indexes, they all moved closer to zero, representing an uptick in optimism.

"All of the leading and lagging indicators are beginning to affect what advertisers are thinking," Mr. Pearl said. "We feel this is the beginning of a real move towards optimism among marketers and agencies. Hopefully this is not a bounce along the bottom."

Advertiser Optimism: Agencies and Marketers are ConsistentEnlarge
Advertiser Optimism: Agencies and Marketers are Consistent

The study also found that marketers and agencies are in near total agreement in terms of spending within the different media. And while agencies are more confident about traditional media than their clients, marketers are more upbeat about newspapers, with 12% of marketers saying they anticipated an increase in spending in national newspapers compared to 5% of agencies. Nearly all other media were almost identical, including broadcast TV (22% agency vs. 20% marketer); cable TV (32% agency vs. 31% marketer); mobile (62% agency vs. 58% marketer); and digital (65% agency vs. 60% marketer).

Mr. Pearl said the study also tracked optimism vertically and found that the financial and technology sectors are both showing high levels of optimism for the next 12 months.

"In this most recent study, they were two of the most optimistic categories in the marketplace and that reverses a high level of pessimism they both towards spending in the past," he said. "This is a real upsurge those marketplaces because they have been so pessimistic in the past. Hopefully they aren't overly optimistic."

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