Industry reaction - Reasons to be cheerful despite current flat ad trading

Media agency specialists analyse factors behind the half-year slowdown in advertising spend.

GRANT MILLAR, managing director, Vizeum

Food clients include Heinz, Discovery Foods

Food spend via outdoor has dropped - it is always harder to justify in tough economic times, while press does well against other media because it offers measurable impact. In previous downturns, advertisers that maintained ad spend tended to come out stronger. You need to maintain your brand presence, so it's important to maintain investment.

GRAEME ADAMS, business director, OMD UK

Motor clients include Citroen

The main reason why motor ad spend remained flat is that there were a number of key new car launches in 2008. Cinema has done well as it is a good place for a new product launch and it is a high entertainment media that suits car campaigns. Motor clients are taking spend from TV and putting it online - they want a broader mix of channels. Looking ahead, motor spend over the rest of the year will be flat year on year.

HENRY DAGLISH, deputy managing director, Arena BLM

Entertainment clients include Grosvenor Casinos

The main reason why things are down on last year in entertainment is simply because, in 2007, Virgin and Sky were having a big battle that uplifted the market place. That will have skewed the way things look year on year. Entertainment is a strong category that will stay relatively static, or perhaps grow a bit in the next year or two.

I do think the gambling sector will be affected over the next few months. Bingo is still struggling from the effects of the smoking ban so with the economic downturn now it's a double whammy.

CHRIS ASHWORTH, head of strategy, Feather Brooksbank

Drink clients include Theakston

The first thing to go when people are budgeting is a switch to own brands. The top spenders in the press at the moment are firms such as Morrisons pushing its own ranges. What we'll see now is fast-moving consumer brands looking to counter that, saying if you're choosing one thing to buy instead of own brand, make sure its x or y.

When we've worked with alcohol or juice brands outdoor and TV have always worked well as TV gives the broad-brush approach and with outdoor you can pick out key sectors by geography and move ads to point of purchase sites.

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