Yet more bad news for the Japanese advertising industry, already flailing in the midst of recession.

According to Nippon’s largest agency Dentsu, national adspend in 2001 diminished by 0.9% to $45.7 billion (€52.2bn; £31.97bn). But in Japan, as with the ad community at large, 2000 was the highest-spending year ever – a point frequently overlooked by the doomsayers.

Dentsu, through whose coffers pass 25% of all Japanese advertising revenues, sees no light at the end of the tunnel in 2001, predicting that adspend will sag by a further 3.2%.

Magazines bore the brunt of last year’s ad famine, with revenues down by 4.3%. Newspapers fell 3.6%, neck-and-neck with radio, which lost 3.5%. However, TV advertising managed to hold its own, down just 0.5% , while internet advertising actually rose by 24.6%.

Among advertisers the biggest casualties were former high rollers, the IT and telecommunications sectors – down by 11.3%, their first decline in eight years. But auto industry ad revenues increased by 6% - the first rise in four years.

Amid the general economic murk, Dentsu discerns two glimmers: the expected upturn in the US economy and this summer’s World Cup soccerfest to be held in Japan and Korea

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff