Mag ad spend in Europe on the up

Magazine ad spend in Europe is on an upward curve after three consecutive years of decline, according to a new report.

The FIPP/ZenithOptimedia World Magazine Trends 2004/5 report – which is published annually and covers a total of 70 countries – forecasts a 4% growth in European magazine ad spend in 2004, followed by two years of annual growth at just under this level.

But magazines are predicted to lag behind the overall market performance, with this sector share of the ad market forecast to dip slightly, from 19.6%in 2003 to 19.2%in 2006.

Interestingly, ad spend is expected to grow between three and four times faster in Central and Eastern Europe than in Western Europe over the next few years.

Magazines in Central and Eastern Europe are expected to account for 15% of all ad expenditure in these areas in 2006, up from 14.6%in 2003.

In the UK, magazine advertising spend increased by 0.8% in 2002, to £785m, against a total main media fall of 0.1%, a trend forecast to continue.

While the total number of consumer titles rose by nine million to 1,317 million, consumer expenditure on magazines rose by 4.2%, to £1.95bn.

The UK’s contract publishing sector continues to thrive, showing a real-term growth of 90% between 1997 and 2002.

There is good news for ad expenditure in North America. In Canada, magazine ad expenditure grew 9% in 2003 – a figure expected to cool to 6% this year.

In the US, spending on ads in consumer magazines rose 6% and will continue to perform at this rate in 2004, according to the report.

The business magazine sector in the US was more sluggish, posting 2% growth in 2003, with 2% to 4% predicted for this year.

Elsewhere in the world, magazines’ share of the Asia Pacific ad market continues its gradual fall since 1998, attracting 8.6% of total expenditure in 1998 and 8.1% in 2003.

The report also highlights an important distinction between the developed and developing markets in Asia Pacific, with ad expenditure in the huge mature market of Japan growing by only 7%in the past 10 years.

By contrast spending on ads in the rest of Asia Pacific – excluding other mature markets such as Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan – grew by 277%.

By Lucia Cockcroft

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