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Buyer Survey Finds Few Ad Budget Cuts

Media buyers say there have been
only slight cuts in client ad budgets in the past three months, but say 2011 is
still coming in a bit better than they'd expected earlier in the year, according
to a survey conducted by Deutsche Bank.

The cuts were driven by rises in
commodities pricing, a poor labor market and disruptions to auto inventories
caused by the natural disasters in Japan. Nevertheless buyers remain fairly
optimistic about the rest of the year, including fourth-quarter scatter.

Deutsche Bank called the survey
results "quite reassuring. " Analysts Matt Chesler and Doug Mitchelson noted
that the apparent disconnect between the current healthy ad market and the
softening data from the economic and geopolitical environment. The brokerage
nevertheless slightly lowered its 2011 ad forecast to 2.6% growth and increased
its 2012 forecast to 4.5%.

Among media, online is showing the
biggest gains, followed by TV, then outdoor. TV budgets have been stable over
the past three months, with cable nets continuing to gain share versus. Third
quarter scatter pricing is averaging mid-teen increases across all dayparts,
with broadcast prime up 25%. Buyers said they expect fourth-quarter scatter to
be up 10% over upfront.

Other media were expected to show

The strongest client categories are
tech, media and telecom, according to the survey. Softest are travel,
restaurants and retail. Auto has dropped but Deutsche Bank expects autos to move
back up in 2011 as inventories rebound.

Deutsche Bank said it interviewed 13
buyers who manage more than $5 billion in ad spending.