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Zenith Raises Global Ad Forecast

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Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia has issued a revised global ad forecast for 2010, projecting a 3.5 percent rise in spending to $448 billion.

The upgrade represents an improvement of more than a full percentage point vs. ZO's April forecast of a 2.2 percent gain in ad spending for the year. In December, it predicted a mere 0.9 percent gain in spending for the year.
 
The revised forecast follows several predictions in recent weeks from other ad shops that also boosted their estimates for the year as the ad economy continues to improve. Last week, Interpublic Group's Magna Global revised its 2010 U.S. media forecast, noting that it now expects suppliers to generate almost $170 billion in advertising revenue this year, up 2.1 percent versus Magna's earlier forecast of 1.6 percent year-over-year improvement. (Those figures exclude political and Olympic ad spending).

In June, WPP's GroupM revised its global ad-spending forecast for measured media this year to nearly $451 billion, up 3.5 percent compared to 2009. The company's last forecast, released at the beginning of the year, predicted 1 percent growth worldwide.

In its revised forecast today, ZO said, "We now expect all regions to manage at least some growth this year after a stronger than expected first half, particularly in the U.S. and Western Europe." The shop added, however, that there remains a "stark contrast between the slow-growing developed world and fast-paced developing markets."

ZO said worldwide spending growth would increase steadily in the next couple of years, predicting 4.5 percent growth in 2011 and 5.3 percent growth in 2012.

The agency said most of the upgrade issued today is due to stronger than expected first-half spending in North America and Western Europe.
 
ZO upped its North America forecast by almost 3 percentage points. The shop now expects the region to post growth of 1.3 percent for the year to $159 billion. Previously, it said the region would contract by 1.5 percent. The reason for the change: "Because consumer confidence and spending has recovered quite strongly in the U.S., despite persistent unemployment, the agency said.