The advertising market has been declining over the past six months and has worsened in recent weeks, according to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell, who on Monday discussed how economic pressures including inflation, recession and uncertainty have hit the TV industry, and what all that could mean for 2023.
“It’s gotten even worse, really, in the last month or so,” said Shell, speaking at UBS’s December Global TMT investor conference. “It’s actually hard to figure out whether that’s because of macro conditions—whether people’s businesses are worsening—or because people are just uncertain.”
This year’s upfront negotiations were defined by the word “flexibility” as multiple media buyers previously told Ad Age that advertisers were pulling back on or re-working upfront commitments with greater frequency than in years past. Shell said he believes the recent dip in advertising spend is mostly preparation for the worst, rather than an indicator of declining business, given that pricing on ad inventory has remained high.