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Nielsen: ’09 Display Ad Spend Remained Flat; Print Declines Eased Up A Bit

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The term “flat is the new ‘up'” was heard a lot last year with regard to ad spending. Now that Nielsen says display ad spending ended 2009 with a 1 percent gain, perhaps in 2010 “up” will retain its actual meaning. While a number of categories show signs of arresting their declines, expectations for a recover remain uncertain for most. There are exceptions, of course. Cable TV, which was notable for maintaining its robust growth throughout the year, gained nearly 15 percent in ad spending last year. Aside from coupon inserts, which rose 11 percent, Spanish language cable TV was the other positive standout with a 32.2 percent rise in ad dollars versus ’08. Broadcast TV, sliced according to continued to fall, albeit not as deeply.

Things appeared to be easing for newspapers’ as well. National dailies fell 13.7 percent last year, but it