Ad Forecast 08: Cautious, With Scattered Gloom

Mediaweek’s Michael Burgi asks a panel of ad experts at DJ conference to assess the effect of Wall Street’s swerves on the ad market. Answer: They’re not ready to predict an ad pullback yet. But they won’t be surprised to see one. Paraphrased responses below:

Marc Goldstein, CEO, Group M North America:

There are a number of factors that could affect spend, like gasoline pricing. There are “certain jitters in the retail community,” and “jitters in the fast food and casual dining categories,” and “Caution is the operative word.”  We have not seen pullback, we have not seen advertisers cancelling options that they have, or raising their hands and pulling out. Many of them have made significant upfront commitments for TV that last through Sept. 08. Same for print. So those are unlikely to change. But they do have the ability to reduce those expenditures at a point in time.

Jon Mandel, CEO, NielsenConnect:

Jitters make people less gutsy. People will continue to spend, but they’ll commit later in the cycle. Ad spend always trails the rest of the economy, so only see ads dropping after it’s already in the tank. The day somebody says it’s a recession, 6 months later advertising spend goes down. Just like the sun comes up every morning.

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