Ad spending had begun to stagnate even before the worst of the economic crisis hit last fall. Now, the recession is making a bad situation worse. Media buyers expect ad spending in this summer’s upfront to be down from 2008, when advertisers spent roughly $1.6 billion.
In the first three quarters of 2008, spending was just better than flat to the year-earlier period, according to TNS Media Intelligence. In the past, Spanish-language TV regularly posted double-digit increases.
Media buyers says it’s early to make predictions but that current conditions suggest this year’s upfront isn’t likely to be a good one for Spanish-language networks.
"This is due to a combination of factors," says Leticia Juarez, vice president of media and promotions at Castells & Asociados in Los Angeles. "We have been in a recession for some time. In Spanish-language media, we don’t see the increase in ratings that we used to that would have a significant impact on budgets. And budgets, in general, are coming down."