Ad Spending Posts Largest Quarterly Decline Since 2001

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Ad spending in the second quarter was off 3.7% from the same quarter in 2007, the largest quarterly drop experienced in the market since 2001, according to research by TNS Media Intelligence.

Cable advertising was one of the few gainers, along with Internet and syndicated TV advertising sales, according to the analysis. Cable ad sales increased 3.1% during the first six months of 2008. However, like the other 19 media categories measured by TNS, cable is showing weaker year-over-year performance in the second quarter compared with the growth experienced in the first quarter.

TNS said cable's growth, as well as increases in spending for the first six months on syndicated fare (10.2%) may be attributable to the "limited exposure" those media had to the strike by the Writers Guild of America. By comparison, network TV is down 2.4% for the first six months and spot TV is down 4.4%, according to the research company.

Overall, ad spending declined across 19 media segments by 1.6% for the first six months.

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