The news: Ad spending declined for the third month in a row in August, dropping 3.3% compared with 2021, per a MediaPost analysis of Standard Media Index data.
What this means: The August showing continues a downward trend in spending stemming back to the spring, which should ease some anxiety that July’s dramatic figures would become the norm. But until core issues plaguing the industry are resolved, the downturn will continue.
Major marketers are behind the dip: The decrease in spending came mostly from the top 10 ad categories, where spending fell by 5.1%. Other categories fell only 0.9%.
Regulation looms: The industry is grossly unprepared for a regulatory crackdown, and it’s coming. The Federal Trade Commission, the White House, and Congress have all been united in taking action against advertising’s existing standards around data privacy.
The big takeaway: Sporting events in the fall and winter will give ad spending a boost, but it won’t do away with the industry’s long-standing problems. There’s no running from regulatory scrutiny or from the addressability crisis, and firms will have to adapt their business to changing standards or get left behind.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Marketing & Advertising Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the advertising industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.