TV Ad Spending Growth Slows in Third Quarter

New figures from Kantar Media reinforce the notion that spending on television ads slowed during the third quarter.

Kantar says expenditures on TV ads rose 6.5% in the third quarter, reducing the rate of growth for 2014 to date to 7.1%.

Growth earlier in the year was boosted by big events including the Olympics and World Cup. 

Network TV was up just 0.2% in the quarter, dropping its year-to-date growth to 3%. Spending on cable ads was up 7.9% in the quarter, mirroring its growth for the full year. National syndication was up 1.6% in the quarter and 2% for the year.

Spanish-language TV was a big gainer in the quarter, posting a 23.7% gain. For the year, Spanish-language TV is up 28.1%.

Campaign spending in an election year pushed spot TV to a 5.2% increase in the quarter. For the year, spot is up 4%.

Overall, Kantar says advertising expenditures in all media increased 0.3% in the quarter to $33.7 billion. During the first nine months of 2014, spending is up 2.2%.

Kantar says Internet display advertising fell 1.7% during the quarter because of fewer page views by desktop PC users. Kantar does not include mobile display ads in its analysis.

“After a relatively robust first half when spend grew by 3.1%,the pace of ad spending slowed during Q3 and a principal cause was Top 100 marketers becoming more restrained with their budgets,” Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America, said in a statement. “In contrast, mid-sized advertisers, who are the core of the ad market, continued to supply foundational support and grew their total spending by 6-7% during the quarter.”

Spending by the top 10 spenders was down 1.7% in the first nine months of the year to $11.5 billion. The top two advertisers—Procter & Gamble and AT&T—cut spending by double digit amounts. Half of the top 10 advertisers cut their spending, according to Kantar’s figures.

Kantar said that the retail and auto categories cut spending, while telecom, restaurants and insurance showed increases.

(Photo via Ervins Strauhmanis's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 19, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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.