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MediaRadar: More Signs Point To Economic Recovery.


Proving that every cloud – read, the economy – has a silver lining, a closer look at a down advertising sales market shows positive trends, according to a report from ad intelligence company MediaRadar.


While the bad news for ad spend in the company's analysis – which takes into account national TV, print, and various digital media formats – shows the market off by 11% from last September to this, with total advertising companies and brands also down 11%, the August-to-September 2023 trends are encouraging. Ad spend increased 21% from $9.5 billion to $11.4 billion, with total companies and brands up 18% and 16%, respectively.


“This is a larger increase than the 13% month-over-month change from August to September 2022, which may be a sign the ad market is showing some signs of recovery,” MediaRadar's report says. “September is the first occurrence of a confident month-over-month increase this year. This isn’t too surprising, as Q4 usually welcomes an uptick in ad spending, but if momentum continues through Q4, we could see stronger ad sales as we enter 2024.”


While a total 119,000 companies with 128,000 new brands or product lines placing their first ad buys in September 2023 also represented an 11% drop for each from a year earlier, both were up 44% and 43% respectively from August 2023. Nearly four in 10 new advertisers (38%) were in the professional services, industry products and services, and home furnishing categories.


Not all year-over-year trends were down, either, with 10 of 27 ad categories actually increasing spending from September 2022 – most notably apparel, home furnishings, and food, with a combined ad spend of $1.8 billion. Compared to August, more than 90% of segments upped ad spend in September.


Not all year-over-year trends were down, either, with 10 of 27 ad categories actually increasing spending from September 2022 – most notably apparel, home furnishings, and food, with a combined ad spend of $1.8 billion. Compared to August, more than 90% of segments upped ad spend in September.


Driven by designer fashion, sportswear, and jewelry, apparel accounted for $675 million of that September spend, with increased spend for high-end brands such as Fendi and Prada, and sportswear advertisers Bloom Chic and Duluth Trading, among others. Furnishings spent $645 million, most notably from houseware brands like Charmin and Delta Faucet, and furniture and decor advertisers such as Sleep Number Mattresses and Sherwin-Williams. Food's spend hit $477 million, 40% of which came from snack and dessert brands like M&Ms, Kinder Bueno and Oreo, and nearly 10% from breakfast foods.


Additionally, three key subcategories increased ad investment by at least 15% from August to September. Consumer electronics spent $299 million, driven by brands such as Apple, GoPro Camera, and Intel. Quick service restaurants laid out $280 million, with Wendy's, Burger King and Dominos the biggest spenders. And skincare advertisers like Old Spice and Olay pushed their spend past $128 million.


Also up from August were general retailers like Target and Walmart, and home improvement chains such as Home Depot and Lowe's, with the former spending close to $169 million and the latter more than $100 million in September.

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