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Spanish TV ad revenue falls by 30%

Advertising business faces its worst ever year

MADRID — TV ad investment at free-to-air broadcasters plunged by 30.1% in Spain from January to June to Euros1.2 billion ($1.7 billion), according to a survey published Monday by Spanish research company InfoAdex.

Total ad revs in Spain — including TV, press, radio, billboards and Internet — plunged 29.2%.

The InfoAdex report comes as a second survey, by ZenithMedia’s Zoom Vigia ad watch panel in Spain, describes 2009 as the worst year in the history of Spanish advertising.

Zoom Vigia has revised its forecasts for all media ad investment from a full year 2009 drop of 17.2% to one of 18.7%.

That drop would take overall ad investment in Spain to levels below the year 2000, discounting inflation.

Yet Zoom Vigia’s forecast for 2009 may still be somewhat too bullish, said one analyst.

“The second half of the year has to go really well for the total ad drop to be less than 20%,” he said.

Of top Spanish broadcast networks, according to InfoAdex, first half ads revs dropped 43% at Telecinco, an average 33% at Spain’s regional pubcasters, 29% at both Antena 3 TV and Cuatro, and 25% at nationwide pubcaster TVE.

Telecinco and Antena 3 announce first half financials July 30. Results may differ slightly from InfoAdex estimates. But they’re unlikely to qualify much the brutal impact that recession has had on Spain’s top two commercial broadcasters.

Still establishing its brand, La Sexta, which launched 2005, weathered the drastic plunge in Spanish advertiser confidence better, seeing ad revenues drop 10%.

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