NEW YORK: US adspend reached a total of $100.5 billion (€72.43bn; £67.66bn) in the first nine months of 2008, down by 0.6% on the year-ago period as the country's ten biggest marketers cut their budgets by 4%, according to figures from The Nielsen Company.

Ailing auto manufacturer Ford slashed its marketing spend by 23% to $1.1bn, with Cerberus Capital Management, the owner of Chrysler, also reducing its expenditure by 26% to $694 million. 

General Motors' outlay fell by 4% to $1.7bn, though the company remained the second-biggest spender overall, after fmcg giant Procter & Gamble.

By contrast, fast-food restaurants increased their outlay by 11% to $3.3bn, with Wendy's/Arby's and Jack-in-the-Box spending 30% more year-on-year, and Yum! Brands, owner of KFC and Taco Bell, raising its expenditure by 10% to $698m.

Television also proved reasonably resilient, with network ad revenues up 0.9% overall, largely thanks to the Olympics and Presidential election after a 6% dip in the first six months of the year, while cable income grew by 8.4%.

Direct response adspend also increased by 27% to $2.1bn, but national newspapers posted a decline of 6.4%, with local press titles down 8.7%, and local national supplements by 9.9%.

Network radio (–3.5%), national magazines (–5.1%) and online display (–5.6%) also all saw declines.

Data sourced from Washington Post; additional content by WARC staff