SYDNEY: Advertising expenditure levels in Australia fell by 7.5% in the first six months of 2009, but the rate of contraction will slow to 1.6% in the second half of the year, Fusion Strategy, the media agency, predicts.

Measured media spending in Australia will decline by 4.2% this year according to the company, which had previously forecast a drop off in ad revenues of under 1% for 2009 as a whole.

Online expenditure will increase by between 14% and 16% in the second half of this year, but the medium could then see the pace of growth slow in 2010.

Television and newspapers media both posted double-digit declines in the first half of 2009, but Fusion Strategy predicts these mediums will make a "quick recovery" in 2010.

Steve Allen, managing director of the media agency, argued that the "drop in spending has almost become a self-fulfilling prophesy; there's a complete disconnect between what consumers are doing and what manufacturers are doing."

"The rest of the world thinks that Australia's economy is going like a rocket, but the advertising business has been in recession for 15 months."

Data sourced from B&; additional content by WARC staff