Australian adspend nose-dived 11% last year, with an 18.5% slump in the fourth quarter, according to ACNielsen Media International.

Nearly all media suffered tumbling advertising income, the exceptions being newspapers, whose ad revenues stayed flat, plus outdoor and cinema, both of which saw slight rises.

The sector accounting for the most spend was retail, despite an 11% cut in marketing budgets in this category. Just two sectors kept adspend level with 2000: motor vehicles and real estate. In contrast, communications firms slashed ad expenditure by 38%.

The top advertiser, however, was the government, with the aggregated spending of all departments standing at more than double the ad budget of second-placed Coles Myer Group.

"In Q4 last year, all media felt the impact of industry and consumer unease as the world reeled from the September 11 attacks," commented the research group's managing director Helen Overmyer. "Events closer to home took their toll, including several large corporation collapses that led to significant job losses and advertising budget cuts."

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff