UBS dubious about US ad prospects


2008 was not a good year for advertising-based businesses. And the bad news is that the year 2009 lacks an election and an Olympic event to help prop up overall ad spending. That has led UBS forecasters to conclude that the comparable revenue pits will be even deeper. Looking at 2008 first, UBS had projected a modest 2.5% gain for overall US advertising at one point, but now expects a -4.8% drop when all the numbers are in. But that’ll look good if UBS’s -11.6% projection for 2009 comes true.

Radio’s results chart will at least feature a relatively smooth line, as it follows a -7.1% 2008 with a -9.2% 2009.

Television is expected to follow up a -8.5% with a disheartening -14.2%.

Newspaper will continue as loss leader, with -12.2% worth of shrinkage in 2008 leading to -17.6% in 2009.

Cable actually gained +3.8% in 2008, but it’ll move into the red zone with a -6.3.% in 2009.

Online, which should still be enjoying brisk year-over-year growth as the new media kid on the block, is expected to follow an impressive +11% in 2008 with a very surprising -6% loss in 2009.

RBR/TVBR observation: Hang on, gang – and make sure you hang on to the assets you’ll need to thrive once this thing gets turned around.