Drop in traditional TV spots appears to mean TV ad budgets continue to shift to emerging media

The number of 30-second national production declined in 2005, as many costs did, according to the 19th annual American Assn. of Advertising Agencies’ (4As) study of 2005 costs, but that doesn’t mean there are fewer overall ad messages.

What can be assumed is that advertisers continue to shift their TV budgets to alternative media, which is currently hard to measure.

The study shows a 9% dip?or 135 fewer spots than 2004?in the pool of 1,444 national 30-second commercials that were reported by 21 member agencies participating in the study.

That decline is evidenced by the decline since 2001 when 1,741 national spots were reported, falling to 1,725 in 2002 and 1,521 in 2003. The slight increase to 1,579 in 2004 was attributed to one additional agency participation.

A decade earlier, national 30s in the 4As’ database numbered 1,932, a slump of around 25%.

What the drop indicates is that clients are increasingly moving their TV investments into alternative media, although it’s more difficult to precisely determine those expenditures at this time.