Neilsen have just released some fairly sobering statistics on the state of the Advertising economy for the first quarter of 2009. Globally, ad spend is down just over 7% compared to the first quarter in 2008. North America took the brunt of the fall with spending declining by over 12%. Europe did only marginally better with a decline of nearly 9%.

adspend by region    

From an Irish point of view a 9% decline would have been welcome. The report indicates that Ireland’s ad spending fell by a massive 21.2% year on year, only surpassed in Europe by the decline in Spain  of 28.2%. In Italy advertising fell by 19.1% and in the UK it was down 14.7%.

The Irish decline (based on Q1 2009 projections) would be a decrease of about ?300m in ad spending in Ireland, bringing us back to spend levels last seen in 2003.

Ireland adspend

Worldwide magazines were the biggest losers, with their ad revenues declining by 17% year on year. That’s a real follow-on from the ‘credit crunch’ as magazines over the past few years had become very niche, specialist products, some focusing on high spend activities. The last chart shows the sectors that have reigned in their advertising year on year and many of those sectors would have been heavy magazine advertisers.

adspend by media

Worldwide and looking at this for a sector by sector, there are no surprises with the automotive industry pulling back its spending by close to 20%. Our desire for current fashion has abated, reflected by a decline of 16% in advertising in the clothing sector. FMCG are one of the only sectors to be maintaining a year on year spend and healthcare spending is back marginally.  

adspend by sector