Jewelry ad spend down as recession digs in


National Jeweler reports as companies shrink their budgets in accordance with the slowdown in sales, advertising spend in traditional mediums is down nearly across the board for the jewelry industry, new statistics show.

Data obtained from Adweek (which, like National Jeweler, is part of Nielsen Business Media and owned by The Nielsen Co.) shows that between 2007 and 2008, overall jewelry store spending on cable TV fell by 24.3%; radio declined by 24.7%; and outdoor advertising slipped by 5.7%. Ad spend went up moderately for both print and network TV, but overall jewelry-store spending across all five mediums fell 4.6%. The only traditional mediums that showed signs of life in 2008 were network TV, for which ad spending rose 4.2%; and print, where spending was up a surprising 8.1%.

Data for Q1 showed similarly lackluster results, with jewelry-store ad spend down nearly 17% across the board in all five categories compared with the first quarter of 2008.

Ellen Fruchtman, president of Fruchtman Marketing, tells the national Jeweler the drop in ad spend is due to a combination of a general pullback in spending due to the slow economy and a shift of some–but not all–advertising dollars to the Internet. “How do you fault them for that?” she says of stores spending less on advertising. “As a marketing person, I can say you need to be out there marketing, and I do believe that. But by the same token, it’s easier said than done. You’ve got to pay the bills.”

She says the bump in network TV ad spend was due to networks offering better rates.

While some of the slowdown in traditional advertising spend is attributable to general economic conditions, a portion of those dollars are finding a new home on the Internet. Nielsen Online data on the subject dates back only to 2007, and shows that between May and December of 2007, the industry spent $2.2 million on online advertising. The figure for all of 2008 totaled $4.3 million, while it has added up to $1.1 million for the first five months of 2009.

RBR/TVBR observation: Certainly not a shock, as jewelry has got to be one of the first things cut from tight consumer budgets. However, a savvy AE will march into a local jeweler and mention how few jewelry stores are on the air with ads these days (and why). What a good time to stand out, right? The key is to use your website in conjunction with the on-air messaging. Think online couponing. Think video streaming of the store and its proprietors.