From the Annual 2008: Marketers

Top Advertisers Are Putting on the Brakes When It Comes to Measured Media Spending

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Ad forecasters generally agree 2008 U.S. ad spending will grow a bit north or south of 4%, inflated by the Summer Olympics and presidential elections. That's better than 2007, when Universal McCann's Bob Coen estimates spending grew just 0.7%.

Many marketers are putting on the brakes. In 2006, four of the top 10 U.S. advertisers cut spending. In the first nine months of 2007, six of the top 10 advertisers reduced measured-media spending, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

What happens if there's a recession? Ad spending would tighten but not necessarily decline; year-on-year drops are rare. For now, Wall Street generally likes what it's seeing from major marketers: In 2007, 16 of 26 marketer stocks on the Ad Age/Bloomberg AdMarket 50 index saw gains. That's in stark contrast to the AdMarket's media stocks (17 out of 19 issues down) and agencies (four out of five stocks down); media and agencies are in flux, and stocks have paid the price.

How will the AdMarket do in 2008? Sorry, no stock answers.


To order a copy of Annual 2008, Ad Age's Dec. 31 issue, call 1-888-288-5900.
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