According to data produced by the Association of Communication Agencies of Russia (AKAR) and published by RBC, it amounted to R41.5-42 billion (€575.4 -582.3 million).
Ad spend for radio (-5%) and press (-12%) were also lower, while that for outdoor (+3%) and the internet (+18%) grew.
All told, ad spend for the five main media grew by only 4% to reach R111 billion, while in Q1 2018 it grew by 13%.
Although the situation for TV ad spend is expected to improve in the second quarter, it is predicted to remain flat for the year as a whole.
Last month the Russian office of Dentsu Aegis Network forecast ad spend as a whole this year to grow by 4.5% to R490.1 billion, thanks mostly to a two-digit increase in internet ad spend.
Meanwhile, GroupM has given a more pessimistic forecast of R483.5 billion, with TV ad spend growing by only 1%.