Thomson Intermedia, a UK-headquartered provider of advertising and media intelligence, reports a five per cent drop in the nation's advertising expenditure during the three months to June 30.
Not only was advertising down 5% year-on-year, it was also down 5% on the preceding quarter - although Thomson noted that an increase in TV advertising rates had inflated the Q1 total.
Spending on display ads, classifieds and searches rose 5% to £181 million ($314m; €263m). Press advertising was essentially flat, at £1.2bn. For all other media - TV, radio, direct mail, outdoor and cinema - expenditure fell as advertisers reacted to shrinking consumer spending.
Among traditional media, door-to-door advertising alone saw an increase, and then only marginally, thanks to a switch from individually addressed direct mail. Comments Thomson: "[These] figures make disappointing reading for the media industry and offer further evidence of waning consumer confidence."
Internet advertising was the only sector to grow in the June quarter. But Thomson warns that the burgeoning medium needs more accurate measurement, complaining it cannot not track the size or growth of paid-for searches and sponsored links without more co-operation from website owners.
Says commercial director, Calum Chace: "If advertisers and agencies can see reliable data about the scale and growth of the industry, it might achieve truly astounding growth rates - in the order of 200% a year for instance,"
Data sourced from MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff