Zenith Lowers Ad Spending Forecast

NEW YORK–In its seven-country analysis of ad spending for 2001, Zenith Media is revising its pessimistic July prediction of -0.2 percent to an even bleaker -4.7 percent, with both figures adjusted for inflation. The countries included in the analysis are the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan and the U.S.

In the U.S. alone, the report noted that the top 10 advertisers, which include General Motors, Philip Morris and Procter & Gamble, have spent 10 percent less than they did a year ago. Because of signs like that, Zenith believes the U.S. will see an overall decrease of 1.2 percent in ad spending in 2001. In particular, network TV, spot TV and syndication will see decreases of up to five percent. And while Zenith expects cable to gain three percent, the report says that total TV ad spending will be down 2.8 percent to just under $51 billion.

The report, released today, cited the continuing decline in corporate profits among leading advertisers as the primary reason for the more dismal outlook. But, holding out a slight thread of hope, the report indicated that 2002 should bring a boost in consumer spending as bargain pricing stimulates more buying and in turn, more advertising in the next few months.