German newspapers – currently suffering the now ubiquitous year-on-year falls in adspend – can take solace from a prediction that overall ad revenues for 2001 will steady at the high end of 1999’s figures, according to the federal association of newspaper publishers, Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger.

At its annual press conference in Berlin, the BDZV revealed that pan-German first-quarter ad revenues dropped 6% compared to 2000, but, added chairman Volker Schulze, were nevertheless 2% above Q1 1999.

Despite the distorting effects of 2000 – now generally recognised as a freak year warped by the exceptional adspend of the telecoms, electricity and internet sectors – the west German ad industry, said Schulze, appeared to be consolidating.

However, there remains an “absolutely dramatic and very worrying” division between west and east Germany. Whereas the former saw Q1 newspaper ad revenue fall 5.3%, in the latter it tumbled 13%. This schism extends to circulation – western Germany experienced a stable 0.1% decline in 2000, whereas the east suffered a 3% slump to a meagre 125,000 newspaper sales per day.

News source: Handelsblatt (Germany)