German adspend fell year-on-year in May for the fifth month in succession, according to ACNielsen.

In the year so far, says the research giant, expenditure on traditional media (TV, radio, print, outdoor) totalled DM14.4 billion – 3.5% down on the same period last year.

Of course, 2001’s figures suffer comparison with last year’s extraordinarily high levels of expenditure and the subsequent slump mirrors the dramatic decline in financial and technology adspend. In the five months to May, finance-sector advertising tumbled 38%, while telecoms, the major contributor to last year’s spendfest, dropped 37.6% to DM710 million.

The silver lining is that although 2001’s spend may be lower than that of 2000, it is still some way ahead of the 1999 figures.

Moreover, despite the collapse in adspend by finance and technology firms, other sectors have not been so austere – the auto industry, Germany’s biggest advertiser, slightly increased ad expenditure by 0.3% to DM1.39bn between January and May, while trade organisations upped their total by 4.6% to DM901m.

Billboards were the only medium to attract more revenue in the year so far with a rise of 2.8%, due largely to changes in the way the medium is defined.

TV ad income, on the other hand, fell 1.9%. This drop was particularly acute at public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, which suffered respective falls of 13.4% and 7.8%. It was a different story at privately owned broadcasters: RTL Group’s channels RTL and RTL II chalked-up increases of 7% and 16.1% respectively, while ProSiebenSat1 Media saw its Pro Sieben channel register growth of 1.5% and its Sat1 station suffer an 8.4% fall.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)