U.K. Ad Spending Forecast Downgraded

Slump expected for second half of 2011

British media investment management firm Group M downgraded its forecast for U.K. ad spending for 2011. The company now predicts 1.5 percent total growth of U.K. ad spending year on year, compared to its initially more bullish 3.6 percent prediction.

Television and print media are the worst hit by Group M’s downgrade. TV ad spending will drop to 1 percent year on year growth, opposed to the firm’s initial 4 percent growth prediction. Even worse off is print, with both newspaper and magazine ad spending forecasted to decline in 2011.

Group M’s initial December forecast painted a picture of modest growth for British national newspapers. Their downgrade now forecasts a 4 percent decline. The U.K. magazine ad market is also expected to decline much more sharply than initially anticipated.

Group M said it expected this year to be a tough one for U.K. media, but maybe not this tough. When the group released its first forecast in December, it was expecting slowed growth, but was largely working off the buzz of a strong 2010 recovery. The downgrade comes amid talk from marketers that they will scrutinize ad spending more closely in the second half of this year.