Emily Steel of the WSJ reported startling numbers from TNS Media Intelligence showing just how fast major advertisers are pulling money out of traditional media and throwing it into paid search, digital media, and other “unmeasured” advertising. This trend has been underway for years, and the figures are backward-looking, but it’s no wonder that traditional media conglomerates like Viacom are starting to panic:
In a sign of how major advertisers are shifting money out of traditional media, ad tracking firm TNS Media Intelligence reported that the nation’s 50 biggest advertisers cut their spending on “measured” media such as TV, print and Internet display ads by 1.5% in 2006 — though U.S. ad spending grew 4.1% overall.
While some of the declines may reflect overall cutbacks in ad spending by big marketers, it likely signals that big companies such as Procter & Gamble are reallocating some of their ad budgets to new Internet ad venues which aren’t measured by TNS — such as paid-search advertising, social networking, and online video.
Not surprisingly, the report showed that growth in ad spending on traditional media, particularly newspapers and radio, continued to slow dramatically while spending on Internet display ads is accelerating. But it also highlighted a significant slowdown in ad growth among cable channels, after several years of robust increases.