Total advertising fell 15.4% in first half


Cable television was alone in growing ad revenues in the first half of 2009, according to data from The Nielsen Company. Automotive was still the #1 ad category, although spending was down 31.4%. That $2.3 billion decline was a big chunk of the $10.3 billion shortfall from the first half of 2008.

The growth in Cable Television ad spending, though only 1.5%, was  especially significant since Nielsen reported Cable TV ad spending was down 2.7% through the first quarter this year. Spanish Language Cable TV, calculated separately from the general market, also saw ad spending tick up 0.6% for the first half.

RBR/TVBR observation: No doubt many radio executives wish their ad declines in the first half were only the 9% tallied from Nielsen’s sources, but the direction was certainly correct. And as shown by the report, smaller market TV stations were particularly hard hit. But at least there were some ad categories showing growth. See our related story in the Ad Business Report section for more on that aspect.