8 Sep 2009

Even Olympics feel the squeeze from recession

6:45 am on 8 September 2009

The Vancouver Winter Olympics are proving a tough sell to the business world, with top companies and former big spenders like General Motors seemingly willing to let the chance to sell to billions of TV viewers worldwide slide.

The overriding issue is the recession, forecast to cut worldwide ad spending by eight to 12 percent this year as companies avoid splashy new campaigns.

Even with the eyeballs on sale to showcase their products to a blockbuster TV audience - some 4.7 billion viewers, or 70 percent of the world's population, watched the Beijing Olympics, according to Nielsen - the Olympic Games' budgets look set to suffer along with the rest of the advertising world.