These days, any change from the continuous drop in ad spending is cause for celebration. Peter Kafka, writing for All Things Digital, discusses two positive trends that occurred in ad spending between the first and second quarter of 2009.  Citing Bernstein’s Ad Tracker index, Kafka  points out that spending in the overall ad market dropped only 14% between the first and second quarters. While this is still a horrible number, psychologically, this change represents an actual improvement, not seen since the last quarter of 2007 and first quarter of 2008.1152637_chart

Interestingly, this most recent improvement  occurred almost entirely in the traditional advertising market which experienced only a 16.5% drop compared to the 19.5% drop in the first quarter. Online ad spending had been tumbling sharply since the last quarter of 2007. For the first time since then, online spending remained flat between the first and second quarters of 2009. Kafka reminds us, “In this economy, flat-lining like that is progress.”

It’s also not surprising that industry analysts expect powerhouses such as Google to lead the online ad market recovery. These days, as long as somebody leads the way up, many business will be happy to follow to a positive revenue position.

[Source: Kafka, Pete. Another Hint of (Very) Cautious Optimism for the Ad Market, Media Memo, 8.13.09]