ACB's Study of Home Improvement Center Print Advertising Predicts Potential Reversal of Downward Spending Trends

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ACB’s analysis of print advertising activity by Home Improvement Centers provides interesting insight into the marketplace today. Advertising activity is captured for all major brands of products including; appliances, power tools, lawn and garden, flooring, lighting, lumber and building materials In ACB’s ongoing study of featured print ad space of several hundred manufacturers, it appears that this is a pivotal point in print advertising for this channel.

Home Improvement Centers - Print Advertising Trends (Source: ACB Sept. 2010)

The tracking of share of voice in both print and internet advertising remains a critical marketing tool in this challenging economy.

With the economic downturn in 2008 came a significant and steep decline (27.5%) in print advertising by Home Improvement Centers in major markets. This decline in ad space continued into 2009 with an additional 15% reduction by these key retailers. What remains encouraging to many is the slight increase in print advertising during the first half of 2010, as seen by the 4.7% increase in ad space compared to the first half of 2009. Projections for 2010 (based on first half 2009 figures), suggest that ad space this year could realize a conservative 5% increase, rebounding at least in a limited way during 2010. ACB will be watching closely to see if second half spending continues on the same path. "The tracking of share of voice in both print and internet advertising remains a critical marketing tool in this challenging economy," said Brian McShane, President - Advertising Checking Bureau.

Other significant trends include notable shifts in the percent of total ad space devoted to certain product categories, with an increase in the percent of ad budget dedicated to Appliances and Lumber. As consumers are opting to invest more time and money in home repairs and are choosing to improve current homes rather than purchasing new homes, this trend could continue.

In spite of the tremendous shift to on-line advertising, key Home Improvement Centers still battle for critical print ad space and share of voice. Retailers are continuing to use newspaper and circular advertising to keep their customers informed of new products, line extensions and promotions aimed at building brand support and generating additional revenue.

Advertising Checking Bureau (ACB) captures print advertising activity for several leading Home Improvement Centers, including Home Depot, Lowes, Menards and Sears. The data is comprehensive and includes 10 key markets in the U.S. and approximately 2000 brands within 200 categories. Historical data is available from 2007 to allow for analysis of relevant print advertising trends.

ACB remains uniquely qualified to address the Ad Tracking, Co-op/Trade Promotion, Incentive Program Management and Marketing Services needs of manufacturers and retailers. ACB is headquartered in New York City with production offices in both Memphis, TN and Tempe, AZ.

For additional information, contact ACB.

Mindy L. Weissler
Director of Marketing


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