Internet Ad Revenues Drop 18%

By: Ann M. Mack

(Adweek IQ) The Internet was the worst performing sector in the media business for the first three quarters of 2002, according to the latest report from CMR, with online ad expenditures dropping 18% versus the same time a year ago.

CMR, the New York-based company that tracks ad spending in major media, reported that Internet ad revenues were $3.8 billion for the first nine months of the year, down from $4.6 billion a year earlier.

Total ad spending for January through September came in at $84.4 billion, up 2.2% from $82.6 billion in 2001. CMR attributed the overall growth to the elections, strong upfront sales, and a rebound from Sept. 11, 2001.

All media categories outpaced the Internet, in terms of spending growth during the first nine months. Spanish-language TV and spot TV recorded the greatest gains as ad spending in those categories rose nearly 26% and 15%, respectively. Other media categories that reported boosts in ad expenditures included Sunday magazines (10%), local radio (10%), newspapers (8%), network TV (7%), and national spot radio (6%).

In addition to the Internet, ad spending declined in B-2-B magazines (-17%), syndication-national (-12%), outdoor (-4%), consumer magazines (-1%), cable TV (-1%), and national newspapers (-3%). CMR considers USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal to be national newspapers.

CMR predicted that overall ad spending will grow 2.5% for 2002. “This is due to the additional ad dollars that were spent in November to support the final election push and the upcoming holiday season,” said George Shababb, senior vice president, CMR/TNS Media Intelligence.

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