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More Ads Shifting to Cable

Forecasts for 2005 TV-ad spending show slight growth overall, with a healthy jump for cable.

"2005 looks like it will be a very good year for the industry," said Universal McCann chief Bob Coen, speaking at a UBS media conference Monday in New York. Ad spending this year has been bolstered by heavy political spending and Olympic advertising on national and local levels.

Still, Universal McCann forecasts ad spending for Cable is forecast to jump 7%, while syndication perks up 3.5%. Network TV will grow by 2% next year, while spot TV will drop 1%.

Zenith Media predicts that cable will increase 9%, network TV will grow by 3%, syndication will be up 3%, and spot TV will be up 1%. That suggests a continued shift of dollars from broadcast to cable TV said Chief Executive Steve King.

But cable isn’t immune from shifts either. King said clients are also increasingly shifting ad dollars to interactive marketing, sponsorships and direct marketing, which could come at the expense of traditional media like television. "TV and other mass media need to demonstrate their effectiveness or they will lose out,"King said.

Automotive will continue to drive TV ad spending next year, Coen predicted. His firm forecasts spot spending on auto ads will be up 11%, while national will be up 10%.

Elsewhere spot will lag national. Among other top categories, Universal McCann forecasts: Spending on national food advertising will grow 7%, but spot sales will drop 6%. Spending on national Cosmetic ads will be up 7%, with spot sales down 7%; and beverages and snack foods will be up 11% nationally, but with spot off 16%.