TV Ad Sales Will Fall As Auto And Retail Companies Trim Spending: Analyst


Bad news for traditional TV providers: Advertisers will probably spend about $75.6 billion on national and local TV this year — down 5.1% from last year, MoffettNathanson Research’s Michael Nathanson says today. That’s a drop from his previous projection for a 4.1% decline.

TV has company. He sees all traditional media at $109.7 billion — down 7.2% vs his earlier forecast for -5.9%.

The problem? They depend too much on ads from large retail, consumer products, and auto companies. And they “are not growing budgets,” a trend that became apparent in the first half of this year, the analyst says.

He’s especially wary about auto and retail, which he expects will account for 26% of U.S. measured media spending this year year.

Auto companies, leading the pack at 14% of  spending, are trimming their outlays now that their annual sales exceed levels from before the recession that began in 2008. Auto spending “will be a key swing factor for the advertising market” over the rest of 2017, Nathanson says.

Spending by retailers fell 6% last year, and continues to slide as major chains grapple with competition from e-retailers led by Amazon. For example, Sears today said it will add 28 Kmart stores to the list of outlets it will close this year. Thus far in 2017 it has shuttered 180 Sears and Kmart stores, and plans to shut 150 more in Q3.

Yesterday shares in London-based advertising giant WPP fell 11% after it cut its revenue forecast for the year, citing “pressure on client spending in the second quarter particularly in the fast moving consumer goods or packaged goods sector.”

Although WPP is a global company, its dreary numbers “highlight the challenges across the board for the advertising industry,” Nathanson says.

Digital outlets led by Google and Facebook likely will “keep chugging along at elevated levels of growth,” he says. Unlike TV networks and stations, which do a lot of business with Fortune 500 companies, digital platforms deal with “all sizes of advertisers — including many online disruptors.”

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