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Local Spot Advertising Shows Upturn: Nielsen

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Local spot advertising, hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, showed signs of an upswing just as many states were letting businesses re-open, according to Nielsen.

For the week of April 27, Nielsen detected an increase of 5% in the number of local spots airing. Compared to the week of March 30. The number of local spots dropped by as much as 35% in some markets.

Nielsen found that for the week of April 27, ad units were up in 101 of the top 132 markets. 

In Lansing, Michigan, the number of spots was up 48%. In Portland, Maine; Flint, Michigan; Harlingen, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and Honolulu, Hawaii, the number of spots were up more than 20%.

Nielsen noted that there were three categories of advertisers, some that reduced their advertising, some that were resilient through the pandemic and some that were rebounding.

Those reducing advertising included gyms, restaurants, salons and those in the amusements and event categories, although even some of those were starting to edge up.

Resilient ad categories include engineering and professional services, direct response, government, life and medical insurance and schools and camps.

Rebounding categories include retail stores, auto dealerships, public utilities, auto dealership associations and hotels and resorts.

Political ads, a big business for local stations, dropped sharply between late February and late March, but started to edge up in the end of April.  

“As we’ve already started to see, different markets will have different approaches to regeneration. Even so, there are signs across all markets that consumers and businesses are inching into a new normal. That inspires hope for a stronger ad market,” Nielsen said in its report.

Jon Lafayette
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.