David Prosser: Advertising dip reflects flatlining economy

Outlook Daily Mail & General Trust's announcement of a cover price increase for the Daily Mail took media analysts by surprise yesterday. Had they been keeping a close watch on the regular IPA/BDO reports on the state of the advertising market, it would have been less of a shock – they have been pointing to a downturn for several quarters now.

Indeed, the latest of these reports, which was also published yesterday, reveals that marketing managers are less confident today than at any time for more than two years and have been cutting their advertising budgets accordingly. Internet channels are seeing some marginal advertising growth, but everywhere else the spend is flat or declining.

It is all part of the hunkering-down phenomenon as the economy as a whole grinds ever closer to a full stop. In a market where consumers are watching their spending ever more closely – see yesterday's retail results – the pressure is on advertisers to rein in their budgets accordingly.

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