Worldwide advertising expenditure in 2009 is estimated to be down 9.8% compared with 2008, a downward revision of 4 percentage points from projections issued in March, according to media communications agency Carat, part of Aegis Media. This drop is due to significant reduction of forecasts in all regions, with the exception of Asia Pacific, where the 2009 forecast has been revised marginally upwards to -0.3%.
Although global spending for 2009 has been cut back considerably, predictions remain for a slight return to growth in 2010, at 1.0% globally, driven by much more stable conditions in the West and recovery in developing markets, particularly China:
"These significant revisions are not unexpected in the context of the recent volatility of the market, and represent a cautious attitude towards adspend this year, most significantly in the US and Europe. China remains the most resilient of the major economies, and we have revised our estimate upwards since March to 6.9% for 2009. However, even in China, we have noticed advertisers proceeding cautiously, and adjusting spend on a quarterly basis," said Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Aegis Media. "Despite the reduction to forecasts for 2009, we still believe that 2010 will see growth, albeit very modest. We expect the market to bottom out in North America and Europe, and to improve further in developing markets. Even after that initial recovery, however, the global advertising market will still be below its absolute 2006 level."
Changes in Major Advertising Market Forecasts
Of the world's largest advertising markets, the most notable revisions occurred in the US, Russia, Italy, Germany, and the UK. Lesser downward revisions were seen in Spain, France, and Canada.
In the US, advertising spend in the first half of the year was well below that in 2008. Previously committed activity was scaled back while significant incremental spending has not materialized. The current full-year projection for 2009 is -16.3% (March 2009 forecast of -9.8%), with significant recovery now not expected until the second half of 2010 at the earliest.
All major media categories are tracking below last year. National television and radio have been holding up better, due to their ability to drive strong reach and awareness. Newspapers continue to be hard hit by both the weak economy and consumers spending more time online. The real estate and automotive categories have cut back sharply and classified advertising is weak. Digital losses have been softened by some traditional media spend shifting over and the continued strength of search advertising. Online video has also experienced growth; however, online display has been much more negotiable in terms of price.