08 June 2005

Not the end of print.


In 1995 American designer David Carson famously declared the end of print. Not so, it seems somewhat resilient as a media form. According to TNS Media Intelligence, US advertising spending in major media in the first quarter of 2005 increased 4.4 percent to $33.5 billion from $32.1 billion in the same period last year with the major focus still on print. Local magazines led all media categories in percentage growth, rising 26.2 percent to $103.7 million from $82.2 million. By total dollar amount, local newspapers led the categories, at $5.869 billion, followed by broadcast television, at $5.845 billion.

Is this signalling a change back to more personal hands-on media? Certainly the trends in Australia reflect more of a prediliction for media planners to focus on electronic media.

According to the Magazine Publishers of Australia, media spend estimates here for 2005 vary from a low of 4.2% to highs of over 11%.

Media agency Zenith predicts the Australian ad market will grow by 5.3% in 2005 with the internet leading the way with an estimated 30% increase in ad spend to $390 million (compare this with the US magazine increase of 29%).

Zenith predicts television and radio ad spend will grow by 5% followed by magazines (4.4%), newspapers (4%) and outdoor (3.7%).

Consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCooper predicts in a range from 4.1% to more than 10%, while Citigroup analysts predicted only a 4.2% increase in ad spending in 2005.

Perhaps Australia is a less literate nation than we pretend to be, or maybe it's because advertising agencies see the lure of more $$ in electronic media than print, and steer their clients appropriately.

So we are a little ahead of the US in terms of spend but perhaps that's because economic conditions here have been more favourable. But yet it does suggest a trend that local brands need to be aware of, the swing away from electronic media to more locally focussed media. People want to know what's happening around them and want products and services advertised which are relevant to their daily lives.

Image from David Carson's Fotografiks, courtesy Ginkopress

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