Consumer magazine ad pages continued to take a beating through the second quarter, plummeting 29.5 percent compared to the same period in 2008, according to the latest Publishers Information Bureau figures, released today. Through the first half, ad pages were down 27.9 percent.

Rate card-reported ad revenue was down 22 percent during the second quarter compared to the same period last year, PIB said. Through the first half, revenue was down 21.2 percent.

During the second quarter, ad pages were down in each of the twelve categories tracked by PIB, most notably in the automotive (-47.8 percent) and financial, insurance and real estate (-48.8) categories.

According to Magazine Publishers of America executive vice president and chief marketing officer Ellen Oppenheim, some of the “bright spots” during the first half were ad gains in certain sub-categories, including food seasonings and ingredients, household cleaning products and hair and hygiene products. “Marketers remain extremely cautious in this challenging economic environment,” she said in a statement.

Country Home saw the steepest ad page decline during the second quarter, with pages falling 80.7 percent. Next was Condé Nast Portfolio (-69.1), which folded with its May issue. (Percentage-wise, Alpha Media’s Blender saw ad pages fall 82.2 percent—the most dramatic ad page decline during the second quarter—but the ailing music magazine folded with its April issue.)

The second quarter’s biggest ad page gainers were People Style Watch (up 33.1 percent), Country Weekly (33 percent) and Muscle & Fitness (13.1 percent).

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