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Zenith Optimedia Group Downgrades Its 2002 Ad Spending Forecast

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NEW YORK -- Despite an improving economic climate, advertising spending worldwide will continue to decline through 2002, according to a quarterly report by the Zenith Optimedia Group.

Looking at advertising spending in the world's seven major media markets in the categories of television, newspapers, magazines, radio, cinema and outdoor, Zenith Optimedia Group found that spending shrank 5.4 percent in 2001. In December, Zenith Optimedia Group estimated a decline of 4.7 percent.

In the US, the London-based media services holding company is predicting that ad spending for 2002 will $132 billion, down slightly from $134 billion in 2001. Nevertheless, the report expects some improvement -- in other words, less decline -- appearing in total network and cable TV spending. As for the upfront, the report is predicting spending increases "in the low single digits." The report offered no specific figures in this regard.

Radio and out-of-home are also expected to show greater health, although, again no figures were cited. Newspapers and magazines are not expected to show any gains until next year, the report said.

In addition to looking at the US, the report also focused on France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. Total ad spending in those seven markets is expected to be $218 billion in 2002, down from $222 billion.