The U.S. ad economy expanded for the seventh consecutive month with an 8.2% year-over-year jump in October ad spending, according to the U.S. Ad Market Tracker, which is a collaboration between Standard Media Index and MediaPost.
However, the expansion rate is decelerating, with October the first month to fall below double-digit growth, according to the Tracker, which tracks aggregate spending data from the major agency holding companies and big independent agencies.
In October growth was up 10% from October 2019, after rising just 1.7% in October 2020.
Small advertisers continue to drive the expansion, rising 18.1% in October, compared with 1.6% growth in the Top 10 categories, according to MediaPost’s analysis of the data.
October’s biggest laggards were two of the biggest categories — automotive (-17%) and consumer packaged goods (-10%).
Meanwhile, the entertainment and media category saw a $200 million increase in ad spending in October vs. the year-ago month, partly on the back of a rebounding theatrical release marketplace. However, this total is still “shy of 2019 investment levels,” according to SMI.
Digital options continue to expand faster at the major media companies vs. traditional ones like radio, though SMI noted that out-of-home ad spending surged 60% in October. The laggards among traditional media ad spending continue to be TV (-1%), radio (-4%) and newspapers (-3%).
Even as the overall digital ad market sees the expansion decelerating, Facebook continues to benefit from the expansion of social media as ad spending surged 22% on the platform in October, according to SMI.
Meanwhile, SMI is increasingly bullish about the fourth quarter — despite headwinds caused by the global supply-chain and uncertainty surrounding the future of the COVID-19 pandemic.