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While the tremors of the financial crisis in mid-2008 impacted almost every industry and region, overall global advertising markets held strong in Q3 2008 to post 2.9% growth in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio, according to Nielsen’s global advertising trends report, Global AdView Pulse.

In Q308 (July – September), the global advertising market posted a 2.9% increase vs. the same quarter in 2007, mostly driven by the Asia Pacific region (+7.8%). North America’s advertising market managed to bounce back to positive growth, up 3.1%, bolstered by the Olympics and the run-up to the presidential election, Nielsen said. Europe, on the other hand, saw a drop in overall ad spend (-5.9%).

China Drives Asia-Pacific Growth

Within the Asia-Pacific region, the strong results were largely driven by China (+16.9%), Indonesia (+16.7%) and Hong Kong (+13.0%). As well as leading advertising growth in their own region, these three markets were also the fastest-growing advertising spenders globally. Q308 saw the Asia-Pacific region surpass the US to become the largest contributor to global advertising spend, accounting for 39.3% of global advertising dollars, up two percent.

Europe Dragged Down by Spain and Turkey

Although six of the 10 European countries covered in the Nielsen Global AdView Pulse report saw growth in Q308, the region as a whole recorded a drop of 5.9%, primarily as a result of retracted ad spend in Spain and Turkey. Driven down by its deepening economic crisis, Spain saw declines of 22.3% in Q308, while Turkey’s ad spend plummeted by 37.3%

“Many of the countries covered in the report appear to have been weathering the early tremors of the escalating global economic crisis,” said Michele Strazzera, deputy managing director of Global AdView. “In Europe, however, advertisers appear to be taking a more cautious approach, with the effects of existing economic challenges taking their toll on the region’s ad spend, particularly in Spain and Turkey.”

TV, Radio Post Most Global Growth

Among the four major media types, TV and radio are benefiting most from global advertising growth, Nielsen said. Print media, however, lost almost two percentage points to TV in the year-to-date media share of spend.

Television enjoyed overall growth of 8.1% in Q308 compared with the same time last year, though it experienced negative growth in Europe (-6.6%). Radio growth remained reasonably stable in North America and Europe, while clocking up 9.7 % growth in Asia Pacific, resulting in an overall increase of 2.1%.

Print Still Growing in Asia Pacific

Newspapers and magazines saw declines in the more mature US and European markets, but continue to grow in the Asia Pacific region, Nielsen reported. On balance, advertising activity in these media has decreased, with magazines down six percent globally and newspapers down 3.8% in Q308.

Automotive Sector Shows Sharpest Pullback

By sector, Automotive has experienced the highest reduction in media spend. In response to the worsening global economic situation, the high price of oil and the credit crunch, both the Automotive and Financial sectors have reduced advertising spend (-6.9% and -2.2% respectively). All other sectors have been increasing their advertising activity in Q308. Distribution Channels had the largest increase in media spend, up 13.6 % in the year to September, while Entertainment was up 10% and Clothing & Accessories and Healthcare both grew by 7.6%.

Sector Growth by Region Mixed

The data reveals that Sector growth by region is more mixed – Automotive and Media were the only two sectors declining in Asia Pacific (-2.6% and -2.1% respectively), Distribution Channels and Entertainment saw growth everywhere, Telecommunications are growing mainly in Asia Pacific (+7.9%) but are stable in Europe (+0.5%) and only slightly declining in North America (-1.1%). The FMCG and Healthcare sectors are investing more than the previous year in both North America (+1.4% and +4.1% respectively) and Asia Pacific (+9.7% and +10.8% respectively), while they are showing a decline in Europe (-5.7% and -1.8% respectively).

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