Key advertising forecaster sees global ad spending up by 3.5 percent in 2010, third upgrade

By Deborah Yao, AP
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Global advertising spending revised, up 3.5 pct

A key advertising forecaster raised its outlook for global ad spending for a third consecutive time as fears of economic stagnation sparked by the European debt crisis didn’t seem to affect companies’ marketing plans.

Zenith Optimedia, a unit of French ad and marketing giant Publicis Groupe SA, now expects ad spending to grow by 3.5 percent this year to $447.5 billion. In April, it had expected a 2.2 percent growth for the year. The new forecast was Zenith’s third upward revision after six downgrades.

Global ad spending on newspapers will continue to fall but at a decreased pace while the Internet continues to be the fastest growing medium, Zenith said in Monday’s report.

Zenith said advertising spending came in stronger than expected in the first half of the year in all regions, but especially in North America and Western Europe. European debt woes and U.S. unemployment haven’t put much of a dent in ad spending, as consumer confidence and spending recovered.

Greece and Spain were notable exceptions, where ad spending is forecast to fall by 13.9 percent and 0.7 percent this year, respectively.

While most of Zenith’s upgrade centered on North America and Western Europe, ad spending in industrialized nations continues to grow at a slower pace than in developing economies.

In North America, ad spending is projected to increase by 1.3 percent to $158.5 billion this year, revised from a decline of 1.5 percent. The U.S. is forecast to grow by 1.1 percent, while Canada is seen advancing at a more robust clip of 5.4 percent.

Among mediums, Internet ads are projected to increase the most, up 13 percent to $61.3 billion this year. But mobile and social media ads are seen growing much faster.

Television attracts the biggest portion of advertising expenditures, at $177.7 billion, up 6.4 percent this year. Newspapers are seen losing 3 percent of ads, for total spending of $95.1 billion, while radio ads are forecast to fall by 1.4 percent to $32 billion.

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