Ad spend plummets in first quarter of 2002

UK advertising spend slumped six per cent in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period last year. The fall was compounded by a big drop in ad expenditure on business magazines, national newspapers, outdoor and television.

The figures, compiled by the World Advertising Research Center for the Advertising Association’s (AA) quarterly survey of advertising expenditure, indicate that advertisers curtailed their ad expenditure on most media, except direct mail. Ad expenditure dropped to £3.4bn in the first quarter of 2002.

Expenditure on direct mail, the only success story of the quarter, grew 5.8 per cent to £630m compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Ad spend for regional newspapers rose slightly, by 0.7 per cent to £731m.

Business magazines took the brunt of the drop in ad spend, with expenditure plummeting 21.5 per cent. It was down from £296m in the same quarter a year earlier to £232m this quarter.

Advertisers have also shied away from national newspapers, which show a decline of 17.4 per cent to £506m as well as outdoor ad spend, which dropped by 10.8 per cent to £145m.

Radio ad spend fell 0.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2002. Excluding sponsorship, total radio advertising amounted to £120m.

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