ZenithOptimedia revises global ad spend growth forecast

LONDON - ZenithOptimedia has lowered its forecast for global ad spend growth over the next two years, believing the financial reverberations of recent bank failures is set to undermine confidence in the wider economy.

Global ad spend for 2008 has been slashed from 6% in June's forecast, to just 4.3% in today's report. Similarly, its growth forecast for 2009 has been revised down from 6% to 4%, with consumers and companies both expected to cut spending.

However, the global picture is far from uniform, with the developed economies of Western Europe and North America being propped up by internet ad spend, while markets in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe are still expected to see strong growth.

Jonathan Barnard, head of publications at ZenithOptimedia, said: "The picture you get for the next two years really depends on where you look. Emerging markets are still healthy, although the rate of growth is expected to slow in 2009.

"Meanwhile, the UK is set to see 0.4% growth this year, well below the rate of inflation, and this would be negative growth if not for 21% growth online."

ZenithOptimedia forecasts negative growth in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio in the UK, which, if online was taken out of the equation, would be looking at a -5.8% fall in real terms.

The different growth rates of developing and developed markets means that the ranking of the world's largest ad markets is changing quickly.

By 2010, ZenithOptimedia expects to see Russia (currently 13th) and Brazil (11th) both break into the top 10, as sixth and eight respectively, pushing Spain and Australia out.

In general, developing markets are forecast to contribute 65% of ad spend growth between 2007 and 2010, and increase their share of the global ad market from 28% to 32%.

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