Advertising revenue for b-to-b magazines plunged 13.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008, leading to an overall slide of 7.3 percent, according to numbers released by American Business Media’s Business Information Network.

Advertising pages fell 9.6 percent for the year—the sharpest decline since 2002, when pages slid 15 percent.

Revenues fell 5.3 percent in the first quarter, 6 percent in the second quarter, 5.9 percent in the third quarter.  The economic recession accelerated in the fourth quarter, causing the steep decline, ABM said.

The results mirror those for consumer magazines, which saw ad pages drop 11.7 percent in 2008 and more than 17 percent in the fourth quarter.

Just five of the 22 ad categories tracked by BIN showed growth in 2008: agriculture; transportation and logistics; architecture, design and lighting; aviation, aerospace and military and professional services. The automotive category, not surprisingly, pulled back the most in terms of b-to-b marketing spending, declining 18.2 percent.

"While b-to-b magazines have experienced a 7.3 percent decline, other b-to-b media platforms have declined less or showed growth,” ABM president Gordon Hughes said in a statement. "For the long term, we believe that b-to-b media will continue to serve the needs of the marketing community with superior products and services, and will grow accordingly."

B-to-B Ad Page Growth/Decline 

2008 -9.63
2007 -3.35
2006 0.68
2005 3.90
2004 1.44
2003 -3.21
2002 -15.00
2001 -19.69
2000 3.78