Total advertising expenditures fell 12.3% in 2009, to $125.3 billion, as compared to 2008, according to Kantar Media.

Fourth quarter 2009 ad spending was off 6% compared to Q4 2008, with nearly all types of media improving upon their January-September performance.

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Internet, FSIs Up
Internet display advertising expenditures increased 7.3% for the year, aided by sharply higher spending from the telecom, factory auto and travel categories.

The only other media type achieving full-year growth was Free Standing Inserts (FSIs), up 3% as CPG marketers targeted value-conscious shoppers with couponing programs.

TV Spending Outperforms Market
National TV media continued to outperform the overall ad market. Cable TV expenditures dropped just 1.4%, helped by an expanding amount of commercial time. Network TV was down 7.6%, while Spanish Language TV fell 8.9%.

Spot TV lagged far behind, down 23.7% compared to a 2008 period which was bolstered by record amounts of political advertising.

Print, Radio and Outdoor Lag
Print media were hit by large reductions across a broad range of advertisers. Newspaper ad spending fell 19.7% for the year, while Sunday magazine expenditures declined 11%. Consumer Magazines were down 16.6%.

Radio was down 20.3% for the year and 12.5% for the fourth quarter. Local radio was down 20.6% for the year, while national spot radio was down 24.6%. Network radio was down just 8.7% for the year.

Outdoor ad spending was down 13.2% for the year, but just 5.4% for the fourth quarter.

Ad Spending by Advertisers
Spending by the top 10 advertisers of 2009 was down just 0.9% from 2008. Among the
top 50 marketers, a diversified group representing one-third of the measured ad economy, 2009 spending fell 5.1%. At the other end of the spectrum, small advertisers – defined as those ranked outside the Top 1,000 – trimmed their collective budgets by 20.3%.

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Procter & Gamble was again the largest advertiser, with spending down 15.6% versus a year ago. Verizon Communications held onto the second position with a drop of 6.9%.

Three of the top advertisers posted healthy double-digit gains. Wal-Mart upped its budgets by 35.4% behind the launch of its “Save Money, Live Better” campaign. Pfizer spending rose 32.7% as the company boosted marketing support for Lipitor. Sprint Nextel, battling for market share against its larger wireless rivals, hiked expenditures by 29.9%.

General Motors, despite a 30% drop in vehicles sold, spent 1.3% more on media advertising and was the only auto company in the Top 10 rankings.

Ad Spending by Category
Expenditures for the 10 largest advertising categories fell 10.7% in 2009. Automotive was the top category with total spending down 23.4% from the prior year. Fourth quarter figures were markedly brighter, a decline of just 0.9%. Dealers continued to cut budgets more severely than manufacturers in the face of withering sales. Auto category spending has now declined for 18 consecutive quarters.

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Telecom was the second largest category with a gain of 1.6%. Results were driven by the fierce competition among wireless carriers and TV service providers.

Two other categories also finished the year with higher spending. Food & candy was up 3.5% as many leading marketers took advantage of lower ad prices and strategically increased support for key brands. Pharmaceutical expenditures rose 3.9% on the strength of well-funded marketing launches for several newly approved prescription drugs.

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