Advertisers, Agencies Split On Overall Ad Optimism, Agree Onad Online

Mar 17, 2009

Joe Mandese, Mar 17, 2009 08:31 AM

Advertising executives are growing increasingly pessimistic in their outlook for spending across the major media over the next six months, but marketers are significantly more pessimistic than their agency counterparts for all media, except online. Those are among the findings of a new ongoing tracking study of the ad industry’s confidence levels during the economic recession. The disconnect between advertisers and their agencies could lead to a rude awakening when marketing budgets fail to live up to the expectations some agencies are planning media buys based on.

While only 31% of agency executives surveyed in February by Advertiser Perceptions Inc. for its new bi-monthly Advertiser Optimism Report (Online Media Daily March 16) plan to reduce their ad spending over the next six months, 42% of marketers said they would cut their spending – a margin of 11 percentage points.

That range grows even more pronounced for certain media, especially television and outdoor. While only 35% of agency executives plan to cut their broadcast TV ad budgets, 55% of marketers said they plan such cuts – a spread of 20 percentage points. For cable TV, 18% of agencies plan cuts, but 33% of marketers. For outdoor, 22% of agencies and 44% of marketers plan to reduce their spending.

The margins of difference are much closer, albeit quite negative for newspapers, magazines and radio, but the real point of agreement is on the strong confidence both advertisers and agencies have for spending on digital media.

Only 17% of both advertisers and agency executives said they plan to reduce online display ad spending over the next six months. As for online search, only 11% of advertisers, and 10% of agency executives plan to cut those budgets.

And while a greater percentage of marketers plan to cut their mobile advertising budgets (26% vs. 13% for agency executives), a greater share plan to boost them (58% vs. 52% of agency executives).

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