Ad market contracted by 14pc last year, claims Neilson
THE Irish advertising market contracted by less than 14pc last year, according to new figures circulated to media agencies yesterday.
The figures represent the only comprehensive review of Irish advertising spending and are compiled by international data monitors Nielsen.
However, their reliability has been repeatedly attacked by media agencies in recent months, who say the data Nielsen is supplying is at odds with the real state of the market.
Yesterday's full-year figures put the total value of the Irish advertising market at just over €1.5bn last year, with more than 57pc of this attributed to press.
Nielsen's Irish arm yesterday stressed that the press figures, which showed a spending fall of just 8pc last year, were based on rate cards.
These rate cards are frequently discounted in the current market, according to agencies. TV spends are based on Nielsen's information on RTE's actual rates, which are then discounted and applied across the wider market.
The method led Nielsen to report a 25pc fall in TV advertising revenue in 2009, a figure dismissed as “laughable” by one well-placed executive last night.
Industry sources suggest the real figure is closer to 40pc. Nielsen's radio information comes directly from stations and showed an 18pc fall last year.
That is believed to be more in line with market realities. In the smaller categories, Nielsen reported a 23pc fall in cinema spends and a 10pc fall in outdoor media, such as posters and billboards.
Online advertising, which is believed to be the most resilient category in the downturn, is not featured.
Nielsen Ireland yesterday attributed the omission to the fact that “the main players in this sector (online) are currently unwilling to provide data”.