ZenithOptimedia Lowers Estimates for Growth in Global Ad Spend

But U.S. stronger than expected

The troubled Eurozone is further dragging down global growth in ad spending: In a new 2012 forecast, ZenithOptimedia revised its expectations again, saying global growth this year will come in at a 3.8 percent increase, down from the 4.3 percent predicted in June. In March, the media agency said global ad spending would grow 4.8 percent in 2012.

ZO now expects spending in the Eurozone to decrease 3.1 percent, compared to the 1.1 percent decline forecasted in June. In countries like Greece, ad spending this year is thought to be 63 percent below peak levels in 2007.

There is some good news within the forecast, however. North America is having a “particularly strong” year, thanks to record Olympic audiences, with ratings 30 percent higher than expected. The region is also seeing stronger-than-expected political advertising in the run-up to the November elections.

Digital media, particularly Internet advertising, is growing the fastest among mediums, with ZO forecasting a 15.1 percent increase next year compared to 2.3 percent for traditional media. The Publicis Groupe agency said Internet advertising will grow, on average, by 15 percent between 2011 and 2014. With the rapid rise of social media and online video advertising, display ads are now growing faster than paid search. ZO predicts 20 percent annual growth for display ads compared to 14 percent for search.

Despite an advertising boom in developing markets, the U.S. is still the single biggest contributor of new global ad dollars. Between 2011 and 2014 ZO predicts the U.S. to ring up 29 percent of the $69 billion that will be added to global ad spending. Between them, China, Brazil, Russia and Indonesia will contribute another 36 percent. Overall, developing markets are forecast to account for 59 percent of all growth in global ad spending during that period.