The adspend decline in Europe’s largest economy continued into the first quarter of 2000, according to a report released yesterday by ACNielsen. The sectors worst hit by the slowdown were telecoms (down 41.4%), financial investments (34.2%), and detergents (32.1%).

A year-on-year decline of 3.7% was recorded in classic media (TV, print, radio, outdoor) with Q1 adspend totalling DM8.1 billion. Despite this, say the statisticians, there is some evidence that the slowdown is decelerating, with the March 2001 total only 1% below that of the same period last year. This compares favourably with February where the shortfall was 8.8%.

Media insiders are quick to point out that 2000 was, anyway, an exceptional year for advertising. The industry benefited from a number of exceptional factors and one-off events, for example the stock-market boom, start-up euphoria, massive advertising by telecoms companies and Cebit, a major hi-tech exposition in Hanover.

The VDZ association of newspaper and periodical publishers, commented that the latter event, held in February last year, had been a powerful impetus for newspaper advertising. Overall newspaper and periodical advertising during 2000 had been at record levels and, says VDZ, is unlikely to be sustained this year.

And although TV advertising revenue was down 2.9% in Q1, a clear upswing is now underway, according to a spoke for IP Deutschland, the marketing arm of broadcaster RTL Group. The year-on-year decline had diminished dramatically in March and RTL actually raised its gross ad revenue in the first quarter.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)