Nielsen: Dips in Network TV, 'Old' Media Drag 2007 Ad Spending

Nielsen says that ad spending in the U.S. was up only .6% in 2007 over the year before, with Internet advertising showing the biggest percentage increase at 18.9%. American Idol had the most product plugs for a broadcast show, while American Chopper won big in the cable plug category.

National cable advertising was up 2.2%, and Spanish-language TV was up 1.5%, but those were the only two TV categories that weren't in the red. Network TV was down 1.5%, small-market spot TV (markets 101-210) was down 2.6%, and top-market spot TV advertising was down the most at 5.1%.

The top-10 advertisers across all media accounted for $17.9 billion, but that was down 4% from the year before. Seven of the top 10 advertisers decreased their ad budgets. The biggest decrease came from a media company itself, with Time Warner cutting its budget by 14%.

TV station sales are driven, in part, by the automotive category and that category accounted for five of the seven budget cutters among the top 10, with General Moters cutting its spending the most (12%). In total, the automotive category was down by 11%, or $1.479 billion, by far the biggest drop in raw numbers of an of the top-10 ad categories at more than three times the drop of the next largest cut ($422 million in the wireless phone category.

American Idol continues as the broadcast show with the most product placements (as anyone who watched the plugs for soda cups and music downloads can attest) among the 163,737-plug total for the top 10 shows. Idol had 4,349 plugs, followed by Biggest Loser (3,286); Fast Cars and Superstars (3,231); America's Next Top Model (2,694); Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2,612); Deal Or No Deal (2,144); CW Now (2.049); Pussycat Dolls (1,934); Amazing Race All Stars (1,893); The CW (1,758).

American Chopper leads among the cable shows, with a whopping 52,503 of the 163,737 total, followed by Miami Ink (20,594); Dog The Bounty Hunter (19,179); American Hot Rod (14,281); Overhaulin' (13,738); Run's House (9,898); L.A. Ink (9,462); Little People Big World (8,400); Real Housewives of Orange County (7,958); and Flip This House (7,724).

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.