German Adspend Plummets 8.8% in February

21 March 2001

February reflected an 8.8% year-on-year fall in advertising expenditure on TV, radio, print and outdoor ads, according to Hamburg-headquartered market researcher AC Nielsen Werbeforschung.

A particularly acute drop in advertising expenditure of 13.1% befell print media. Within this sector, newspapers and specialist publications fared worst, witnessing respective falls in adspend of 18.4% and 18.1%.

In comparison, TV adspend performed relatively well, fading only 4.7% overall compared to February. However, the drop was not spread evenly: the television interests of the Kirch Group were particularly hard hit with an 11.8% fall in adspend at Sat 1, 5.4% at Pro 7 and a massive 92.8% at niche broadcaster TM3. Meanwhile, Bertelsmann-controlled RTL saw its stations gain slightly with a 2% overall rise in ad income. In particular, RTL II and Super RTL saw upsurges of 32.9% and 12.4%.

The February figures also show advertisers across the board reducing adspend in comparison to last year. The automobile sector, traditionally the most lucrative source of ad income, cut expenditure by 4.5%. It was a similar story among consumer goods companies – dairy product manufacturers axed spend by 49.1%, cosmetics firms by 18% and pet food producers by 21.6%.

Moreover, the sectors contributing most to last year’s ad boom, telecoms and financial services/banking, cut expenditure by 26% and 45% respectively, while there was a 55.9% fall among energy utilities and a 32.2% drop among companies manufacturing telecoms equipment.

But industry insiders do not seem unduly perturbed, pointing out that the fall in adspend must be seen in the context of last year’s unusually high figures.

News Source: Handelsblatt (Germany)