The revised forecast, the first to be issued since Magna recalibrated its methodology for estimating ad spending from an agency billings-centric process to one that is based on actual advertising revenues derived by the media, may make it difficult to compare with other industry forecasters, but Magna global forecasting chief Brian Wieser has claimed it is a more honest and holistic view of the advertising economy.
As part of his recalibration, he has also divided total ad spending for each medium into three discrete buckets of national, local and so-called "direct" based advertising revenues.
Despite the discrete category fluctuations, Interpublic believes the overall U.S. advertising economy has stabilized and has actually improved from its last snapshot in July, and that it will continue to improve as the overall U.S. economy continues to expand.
"As a result, we are moderating our 2010 advertising forecast and now expect normalized advertising revenues (excluding local TV political and national TV Olympic revenues) to decline 1.3% next year," the agency said in this morning's announcement. "This compares with our previously published expectations for a decline of 2.1% during 2010. In total, we expect suppliers to generate $159 billion of normalized advertising revenue next year.