U.S. ad spending down 12.3% last year

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New York—Total ad spending in the U.S. fell 12.3% to $125.3 billion last year, according to a new report from Kantar Media (formerly TNS Media Intelligence). Ad spending in the fourth quarter was down 6.0% from the same period in 2008.

“The advertising recession began to ease in the final two months of 2009, and preliminary figures from the first quarter of 2010, when compared against the abyss of a year ago, indicate many sectors are experiencing growth,” said Jon Swallen, senior VP-research at Kantar Media.

The hardest-hit categories last year were local magazines (down 27.7%), b-to-b magazines (down 26.2%), national spot radio (down 24.6%) and spot TV (down 23.7%).

The only categories experiencing growth last year were Internet display advertising, up 7.3%, and free-standing inserts, up 3.0%.

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