Zenith Optimedia has revised sharply downward its 2009 global and North American ad spending forecasts.
In December, the Publicis Groupe-owned media shop predicted that worldwide outlays would be down about 0.2 percent this year. Now, however, the shop says the global decline will be close to 7 percent.
The agency sees especially sharp drops in North America and Western Europe. In North America, ad spending will slide 8.3 percent, ZO now projects; in December, the shop had predicted a 5.7 percent N.A. decrease. The decline in Western Europe will be 6.7 percent, ZO now says, much worse than the 1 percent dip it predicted at the end of last year.
"Since we released our last forecasts in December the global ad market had taken a substantial turn for the worse," ZO said in a statement to explain the revised forecast. "Trade has fallen off rapidly, dragging many developing markets into the downturn."
For 2010, ZO now projects an additional 1.5 percent decrease in total global ad expenditures.
ZO is the second big media agency network to revise its spending outlook downward in recent weeks. Two weeks ago, WPP's GroupM predicted global spending would fall 4.4 percent this year  and 6.8 percent in 2010.
Source: Adweek.com