Data from what is the best composite view yet of Madison Avenue’s media-buying behavior reveals that a slowdown in demand during the second quarter may be stalling the expansion of the U.S. advertising economy. The data, released this week by Standard Media Index, is based on actual media buys made by five of the six agency holding companies, and is estimated to represent about 75% of Madison Avenue’s buying power.

Total spending declined 1% during the second quarter, after surging 12% in the first quarter, thanks in part to a boost in spending related to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. On balance, the two quarters combined for a 6% expansion on Madison Avenue or the first half of 2014, but the trend line is softening.

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