US advertising spending during the first quarter of 2013 was flat compared to the year-earlier period, reflecting caution amid mixed signals on the economy.
Marketers during the January-March period spent $30.2 billion, according to Kantar Media. That represented a decline of less than 1 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012.
- Outdoor spending increased 4.3 percent, the 12th consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases. Retail and restaurants led the way, according to Kantar.
- Network television commercials were down 5.2 percent, Kantar found.
- National newspapers dropped 9.2 percent while local newspaper advertising declined 3.3 percent
Jon Swallen, Kantar Media, said, "Data from the early second quarter are mixed, suggesting marketers are still being cautious and conservative with ad budgets. However, there are some bright spots, including healthy growth for Outdoor advertising."
Media-on-demand with endless broadcast and print options has had a landmark effect on traditional media and audience retention. The glaring exception is Outdoor, where growth in traffic and improved efficiencies has led to a major shift in ad-spend.
"We continue to see a shift of local and regional ad dollars into Outdoor," said John L. Siegenthaler, President of Ohio based Lind Media Co. "More interesting is the fact that many local advertisers have chosen billboards as their primary medium, using print, broadcast and direct in supporting roles."