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Projections Suggest Advertising Growth Will Remain Sluggish in 2016

Forecasts $22 billion net global ad growth

GroupM predicts sluggish growth into 2016. Photo courtesy of GroupM

In 2016 the advertising industry can expect another year of slow growth, according to a new global media and marketing forecast from WPP's GroupM.

In its annual report, released today, GroupM predicts that global ad investment grew by 3.4 percent in 2015 and will continue to grow by 4.5 percent in 2016. That figure, however, does show slightly sluggish growth compared to the group's midyear predictions of 4 and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Author of the report and GroupM's Futures director Adam Smith noted one of the key benchmarks for 2016 revolve around mainland China, which he said will contribute the largest amount toward global ad growth in 2016 followed by the U.S. and U.K., respectively.

Another key takeaway from the report, which pulls info from the 70 countries in the GroupM network, is the resilience of traditional TV advertising. In 2012, traditional TV made up 44 percent of global ad investment. Each year since, it has shed roughly one percentage point, according to the report. 

"The U.S. has a certain perspective where [TV advertising] is a particularly competitive market," Smith told Adweek. "The picture around the rest of the world is not quite so worrying. TV advertising is actually holding up pretty well. The numbers aren't as bad as you might believe and next year it's going to get well supported by the elections and the Summer Olympics."

Dominic Proctor, global president of GroupM, noted that one of the important challenges moving forward for agencies and marketers will be a creative challenge. Proctor suggested that as media habits continue to rapidly shift towards mobile, breakthrough creative for those new platforms has lagged behind.

"We have a responsibility to capitalize on these trends not just by forecasting but filling these new formats with breakthrough creative," Proctor told Adweek. 

Take a look at other key predications for the coming year below.

  • Global ad growth is expected to reach $22 billion in 2016, with estimates of digital representing 90 percent of that growth.
  • Print advertising will continue to make up 18 percent of global advertising.
  • Digital media will command 31 percent of global advertising budgets.
  • China, the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, India and Japan will comprise 75 percent of the $22 billion global ad growth in 2016. 
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