New York’s CMR, part of Taylor Nelson Sofres and a specialist in ad-tracking, has put a figure on this year’s ad downturn, revealing that US adspend on major media between January and September tumbled 7.8% year-on-year.

Spend totalled $68.8 billion in the period, down from $74.7bn in the first nine months of 2000. The drop indicates that belts were tightened further in the third quarter – the year-on-year decline for January to the end of June stood at a more modest 5.9%.

The heaviest casualties were newspapers, which generated 21.5% fewer ad dollars than last year, followed by national spot radio (–18.6%) and spot TV (–17.9%). Television was hit hardest by the estimated $313.2 million of ad revenue lost in the wake of the September 11 devastation, with network TV down 8% over the first three quarters of the year.

Some media, however, enjoyed climbing ad revenues over the nine-month period – syndicated television and Sunday magazines both saw a 3.4% increase, while outdoor and cable TV posted respective rises of 2.6% and 2.1%.

The nation’s two biggest advertisers, General Motors and Philip Morris, both slashed spend, by 28.4% and 20.6% respectively. However, two top-ten advertisers raised their ad budgets – AOL Time Warner by 11.9% and Ford Motor Company by 5.4%.

News sources: New York Times;