GroupM predicts 3.5% growth in media spend

The world's largest media-buying network, WPP's GroupM, has given the strongest indication yet that the worst of the advertising recession is over by more than trebling its previous prediction of 1% growth in global media spend.

Martin Sorrell: chief executive officer of WPP
Martin Sorrell: chief executive officer of WPP

GroupM is the world’s largest media billing network. Owned by Sir Martin Sorrell's WPP Group, it handles media spend for clients including Unilever, HSBC, Orange, Ford, BT. Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline and Dell.

According to the company’s well-regarded 'This Year, Next Year' report, media spend for this year will now reach $451bn (£302bn), with a further hike of 4.5% worldwide during 2011 to $471bn (£315bn).

In Western Europe, media spend will rise 2.1% to $102bn (£68bn) during 2010, reversing a severe 11.2% predicted drop during 2010 and will jump even further, by 2.3% to $104bn (£70bn), the report says.

In the US, media spend is expected to decline 1.3% in 2010 to $145bn (£97bn), down from the $147bn (£98bn) spent in 2009, which represented a 7% drop from the previous year. In 2011, US ad spending is projected to increase 2.5% to $149bn (£100m).

Asia-Pacific is predicted to leap in advertising spend by 8.2% in 2010 to $131bn (£88bn), a rate that eases during 2011 to 6.6%, settling at a figure of $140bn (£94bn).

Central and Eastern Europe will also climb by 6.5% to £18bn (£12bn) reversing a 17.7% fall during 2009. The 2011 prediction will launch media spend even higher by 10.6% to $20bn (£13bn).

The recession has not impacted internet ad spending, except in a handful of highly stressed markets, adding 10% to its measured total in 2009, according to the author of the report Adam Smith.

Smith said: "What continues to power the medium is the steady advance in creativity, analysis and technology, which embeds digital in almost all marketing activity.

"Measured internet added two points of global ad share in each of 2007, 2008 and 2009, and we think it will sustain a rate of one point a year this year and next, to reach 16% in 2011."

In 2009, GroupM held a 32.4% share of the total measured volume among all global media agency networks. The network, which includes media agencies MediaCom, Mindshare, MEC and Maxus, billed $84bn (£56.3bn) during 2009, according to official figures from media measurement company Recma.


GroupM World Media Spend Forcast
Region 2009 ($)
2010 forecast ($)
2011 forecast ($)
North America 158,716 157,106 161,232
  year-on-year % change -7.1 -1 2.6
Latin America 23,770 26,467 28,697
  year-on-year % change 2.3 11.3 8.4
Western Europe 99,941 102,001 104,384
  year-on-year % change -11.2 2.1 2.3
Central & Eastern Europe 17,316 18,443 20,406
  year-on-year % change -17.7 6.5 10.6
Asia-Pacific (all) 121,314 131,208 139,805
  year-on-year % change -2.8 8.2 6.6
North Asia 48,361 54,901 59,441
  year-on-year % change 4.4 13.5 8.3
ASEAN 11,339 13,436 15,220
  year-on-year % change 9.3 18.5 13.3
Middle East & Africa 14,273 15,448 16,478
  year-on-year % change 5.5 8.2 6.7
World 435,329 450,673 471,003
  year-on-year % change -6.6 3.5 4.5

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