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US ad recession softens

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US ad recession easing

The recession in US advertising may be drawing to a close, according to a new report that bodes well for the PPC marketing sector in the UK.

Figures from marketing analysts The Nielsen Company show that total adspend on US media was $117 billion (£76.65 billion) in 2009. This represents a nine per cent drop on the previous year. Moreover, figures for the last three months of 2009 show that the US has now suffered six consecutive quarters of contracting adspend.

However, Terrie Brennan, senior vice president for new business development at The Nielsen Company, saw reasons for marketing experts to be positive. “Fourth quarter ad spending was down just two per cent year over year, and that helped soften the full-year decline,” she said. “In fact, most of the top advertisers showed increased spending late in the year. These are encouraging signs for an ad market that’s still trying to stop the bleeding.”

Automotive sector is worst hit

The automotive sector remained the largest product category with total adspend of $8 billion. To put it into context, this translates into a huge 23.4 per cent decline on the previous year. The next biggest categories were pharmaceuticals ($4.50 billion), fast food ($4.07 billion) and department stores ($4.07 billion). But unlike the automotive sector, all three actually increased adspend slightly in 2009.

Increasingly, companies are moving their ad budgets into PPC and SEO. In the UK, for example, total adspend on the internet overtook print four years ago. A report from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that online marketing was worth £2.01 billion in 2006, compared to £1.9 billion for national newspapers.

Written by Richard Frost

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