Waiting for the Ad Recovery? You May Need to Be Patient.
I’ve been reporting a steady drip of cautiously optimistic forecasts for the ad business, but this one is less sunny: A JP Morgan survey of ad buyers says they’re unlikely to boost spending until next year.
Analyst Imran Khan says he talked to 20 ad buyers and planners, who control a collective $1.6 billion in ad spending, and they tell him that they’ll spend more in the second half of 2009 than they did in the first six months. But that’s not useful information, since ad spending is traditionally weighted that way.
More tellingly, Khan’s correspondents tell him they think spending will be “roughly flat to down” in the last six months of 2009, compared to 2008. And as we’ve discussed before, ad spending started plummeting in the second half of 2008. So if it isn’t improving now, that’s unpleasant news.
More pleasant: Things should get better next year:
2010 ad budgets are looking positive. 25% of respondents see upside of 5-9% in 2010 and an additional 25% see upside of 10-14% vs. 2009. Approximately 40% think that ad spend in 2010 will be roughly flat with 2009 levels.
Looking for more concrete data? Wait a week. Earnings season kicks into high gear Thursday, Oct. 15, when Google (GOOG) hands in its Q3 report card; in the following weeks we’ll also get updates from big media players, including Yahoo (YHOO) and Time Warner (TWX).