December 22, 2014 Last Updated 8:46 am

Kantar Media says total U.S. ad spending grew only 0.3% in Q3, up 2.2% for the year

Press Release:

NEW YORK, NY – December 22, 2014 — Total advertising expenditures increased 0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2014 to $33.7 billion, according to data released today by Kantar Media, the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing information. During the first nine months of 2014 ad spending grew 2.2 percent.

“After a relatively robust first half when spend grew by 3.1%,the pace of ad spending slowed during Q3 and a principal cause was Top 100 marketers becoming more restrained with their budgets,” said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America. “In contrast, mid-sized advertisers, who are the core of the ad market, continued to supply foundational support and grew their total spending by 6-7 percent during the quarter.”

Measured Ad Spending By Media

Television ad spending increased 6.5 percent in the third quarter and was the only sector in the analysis with year-over-year growth. Spanish Language TV rose 23.7 percent and was fueled by the final two weeks of the World Cup tournament in July. Spending on Cable TV networks was up 7.9 percent in the period with roughly one-third of the gain attributable to increased commercial time. Political spending was the primary contributor to the 5.2 percent rise in Spot TV. Collectively, these three TV segments were responsible for an estimated $700 million of growth and offset the weaker results from Network TV (+0.2 percent) and National Syndication (+1.6 percent).

Q3 Internet display spending fell 1.7 percent due to fewer page views by desktop PC users, which in turn led to fewer ad impressions. (Mobile internet display spend is not included in this analysis.) Outdoor expenditures declined 2.7 percent on cutbacks from the Restaurant, Financial Service and Media categories.

Print media experienced further losses in the period. Total expenditures in Newspaper media fell 13.0 percent and reflected commensurate reductions in volume of space sold. Consumer Magazine spending dropped 4.6 percent as lower budgets from CPG and Auto advertisers erased encouraging gains from the Apparel and Pharmaceutical categories. Ad expenditures in Sunday Magazines fell 11.7 percent on lower demand from Direct Response marketers, a bellwether category for the segment. (Note that these figures are based on print channels only and do not include activity on websites or other properties operated by print brands).

Radio media also dipped during the third quarter. Local Radio ad spending on English language stations was down 6.2 percent and on Spanish language stations it fell 6.6 percent. National Spot Radio fared no better with a decline of 5.3 percent. A common outcome for each of these segments was lower spending by retail, financial service and restaurant advertisers.


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