Forecasters See Ad Spending Increases

NEW YORK In their latest ad spending forecasts, both Universal McCann’s Bob Coen and Zenith Optimedia’s John Perriss say ad expenditures in the U.S. and worldwide will enjoy healthy increases next year.

Both attributed the buoyant outlook in part to the upcoming Olympics and the U.S. presidential election.

In the U.S., Coen is forecasting a 6.9 percent increase in ad spending in 2004 versus 2003, totaling nearly $266 billion. Worldwide ad spending in 2004, he expects, will rise 5.8 percent over 2003 to about $498 billion. For 2003 ad spending, Coen expects $250 billion in the U.S. and $471 billion worldwide, a rise of 5.2 percent and 4.6 percent over 2002 respectively. In his analysis, Coen surveys all media, including Yellow Pages and direct mail.

Perriss is forecasting about $156 billion for 2004, a 5.1 percent increase over this year’s U.S. ad spending, and $343 billion worldwide, an increase of 4.7 percent. His ad spending forecast for 2003 is nearly $149 billion in the U.S. and $327 billion globally, a gain of 3 percent and 3.4 percent respectively compared to 2002.

The one possible dark spot is Europe, which Perriss, the chief executive of Publicis Groupe’s London-based Zenith Optimedia, said was lagging behind the U.S. and Asia and “may never regain the lost share.” Coen’s assessment of Europe was slightly more optimistic than his counterpart’s. (Coen is senior vice president of forecasting at Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann in New York.) Both made presentations on Monday at UBS Warburg’s 31st annual Media Week Conference in New York.