Local newspapers odd man out in recovery

A continuing decline in local advertising made newspapers the only ad-supported medium not to benefit from last year’s economic recovery, says a study released Thursday by Kantar Media, a unit of WPP that tracks marketing activity in major media.

The study says total advertising revenue increased in the final quarter of 2010, which represents a full year of gains when compared to 2009 numbers, the New York Times said.

The study found a 6.5 percent increase in revenue compared with 2009. Ad spending fell 12.3 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.

Newspapers, with a decline of 3.5 percent overall, “was the sole category to suffer a decline last year compared with 2009,” the Times says.

“[G]ains in ad spending in national newspapers, up 2.7 percent, and Spanish-language newspapers, up 2 percent, could not overcome the decline in ad spending in local newspapers, which was 4.6 percent.”

Television grew by 10.3 percent compared with 2009. Internet display ads were up 9.9 percent. Outdoor media was up 9.6 percent. Radio grew by 7.6 percent. Free-standing coupon inserts were up 5.4 percent. Magazines saw 2.9 percent growth.

Automotive advertising, a local newspaper staple, was the category of advertising showing the most growth. It grew 19.8 percent compared with 2009, the newspaper said. Ads from auto dealers climbed 26.3 percent and ads from automakers increased 16.4 percent.

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