Newspapers bear brunt of ad spend decline

LONDON - Total UK ad spend plunged almost 10% in the final three months of 2008, the Advertising Association revealed today.

Newspapers: ad spend down 10% in Q4 of 2008
Newspapers: ad spend down 10% in Q4 of 2008

Across 2008, total UK ad spend fell 3.9% year on year, with the AA-commissioned figures suggesting newspapers bore the brunt of the economic downturn, down more than any other medium by 12% year on year. Newspaper ad spend fell just 0.3% year on year in 2007.

The report, compiled by the World Advertising Research Center for the Advertising Association, demonstrates the speed of the downturn in the UK ad market. In 2007, total UK ad spend increased 4.6% year on year.

Magazines were the next worst-hit medium in 2008, the WARC figures show, with ad spend down 9.9% over the year, although WARC's figures exclude supplement ad revenue. Magazine ad spend fell just 3.8% year on year in 2007.

Radio ad spend suffered the third-biggest drop in 2008, down 8.5%, compared with an increase of 3.4% in 2007 year on year.

Unsurprisingly, online was the only medium to increase ad spend last year, up 17.3% year on year. This was, however, down sharply from the 39.5% rise in online ad spend between 2007 and 2006. The online ad spend figures are based on WARC estimates.

Cinema was another rare bright spot in the WARC figures, with ad spend down by just 0.9% year on year, compared with an increase of 9.8% year on year in 2007.

Outdoor ad spend dropped 3.8% year on year in 2008, down from a 4.6% year-on-year increase in 2007.

TV ad spend fell 4.9% last year, down from growth of 2.8% year on year in 2007.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).