Adspend in the UK fell in real terms during the twelve months to November 30, according to research from ACNielsen MMS.

Spending on traditional media rose only 2.8%, against a headline inflation figure of 3.2%. Although growth has been slowing since June, this is the first time it has fallen in real terms since the early 90s recession. Strong growth in the technology and financial services sectors is being overshadowed by poor results elsewhere.

Procter & Gamble, the UK’s number one advertiser, cut adspend from £154 million to £114m in the first eleven months of 2000, says the report. Much of this money was diverted from expensive TV advertising, the cost of which P&G has complained “is out of control”, and into other areas not represented in the figures such as online ads and sponsorship.

ACNielsen MMS also found that spend on TV ads rose 6.8% in the first eleven months of last year, radio was up 6.8% and press up 4.1%. Down were cinema (7.8%) and outdoor (31.2%), although the outdoor industry disputes the figure which, it claims, fails to show a 20% rise in revenues.

Although analysts are not entirely convinced by the findings, citing last year’s ad-friendly Rugby World Cup as a distorting influence, ACNielsen MMS avers that December’s results would have to show “one hell of a bounceback” if 2000 is to show growth in real terms.

News source: Financial Times