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Media share the pain as advertising rate-card values suffer 22pc decline

THE rate-card value of the Irish advertising market dipped 22pc in May as all media continue to suffered the effects of the economic collapse.

The fall is revealed in a report circulated by data monitor Nielsen to advertising agencies in recent days.

The figures are based on rate-card prices and advertising sources stressed that actual falls could be more than 40pc thanks to widespread discounting.

"The Nielsen figures give an incomplete picture, but it's the only picture we have," said one industry source.

The unpublished figures for June and July will be "consistent" with the trend seen in May "with August and early September faring no better", added Gary Power of Omnicom Media.

The total value of May's advertising market came in at €113.7m, against a market worth €146.5m in May 2008.

The sharpest falls were in TV, where rate-card spends fell by 35pc to €25.3m. Market-maker RTE has moved to halt the collapse by putting a "floor" on the price of its ads from June to August.

Radio was the next hardest hit, as rate-card spends dropped more than 26pc to €9.5m. Earlier this weekend, Today FM and Newstalk announced pay cuts of 5 to 10pc for their staff, citing the commercial environment.

Press, meanwhile, remained the biggest advertising market, with €67.5m of rate-card bookings in May despite an 18pc fall. The most muted falls were in outdoor, which dropped 5.2pc to €10.6m, while the smallest market, cinema, dropped 16pc to €700,000.