Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ad Spending Confidence Rebounds, Improves For Most Major Media

Ad Spending Confidence Rebounds, Improves For Most Major Media
by Joe Mandese
Economic pessimism among marketers and agency media buyers appears to have bottomed out last spring and their ad spending plans are trending upward for most major media, according to the most recent data from an every-other-monthly tracking report surveying the "advertising confidence" of key media decision-makers.

The latest Advertiser Optimism Report, being released this week by Advertiser Perceptions Inc., shows plans are improving for every medium except for local newspapers, and that digital media such as online and mobile advertising are indexing well on the optimistic side of advertising spending plans. Cable TV and outdoor media also are improving and now have more media decision makers planning to boost their budgets than to decrease them over the next six months, and while broadcast TV, radio, magazines and national newspapers all are still negative on balance, they are also all improving from low confidence points earlier this year.

"Leading the way are marketers, who are more optimistic than their agencies," says Ken Pearl, a partner in API, which began tracking ad spending confidence levels bi-monthly this year following news of the U.S. economic recession last fall. API historically conducts big semi-annual surveys tracking the perceptions of advertisers and agency media buyers about the major media, including their confidence levels, but opted to conduct the confidence tracking more frequently this year to monitor an inflection point in the advertising economy.

That appeared to be the case in API's last optimism survey, conducted last spring, which showed little or no erosion from a survey conducted in February. At that point, Pearl surmised that advertising "pessimism" had "bottomed out," but said further tracking would be necessary before concluding that advertising economy was staging a turnaround. The most recent survey, which is based on the responses of more than 200 media decision makers over the past several weeks, indicates that their plans for most major media are once again ascending, especially among marketers who seem slightly more optimistic than their agency counterparts.