Nielsen: 1H ‘08 Ad Spend Drops 1.4%

U.S. ad spending fell 1.4% in the first half of 2007, although TV media segments mostly registered gains, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus Thursday.

Cable TV was the top performer, rising 8.1% in the first six months of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007. Syndicated TV climbed 7.2%, Spanish-language TV 4.5%, spot TV in DMAs No. 101-210 2.9% and spot TV in top-100 DMAs 2.6%.

Meanwhile, network TV was off 6% and a special African-American-TV segment (both broadcast, syndicated and cable with audiences more than 50% African-American) was down 5.1%.

Nielsen Monitor-Plus tracked 19 segments, including radio and print media.

Among just the largest advertising categories, direct response product showed the biggest rise to 20.48% and credit-card services jumped a healthy 18.9%

Big ad-category losers were automotive, which fell 8.01%; pharmaceutical, off 4.76%; and movies, down 4.64%.

Car maker Ford Motor slashed its ad spend 30.56%.

A separate Nielsen Online report also released Thursday estimated that paid-search and online-video advertising climbed 11% in the first half of 2008.