Publicis Unit Reduces Long-Term Outlook For Internet Ad Spend, Share

Paris-based Publicis Groupe may claim to be the largest digital advertising organization in the world, with 25% of its revenues now derived from digital media, but its lead advertising forecasting unit - ZenithOptimedia - has reduced its outlook for the role the biggest source of digital media - the Internet - is playing in the overall advertising economy. In its most recently quarterly forecasting update released this morning, ZenithOptimedia now projects the Internet will account for $54.087 billion in worldwide ad spending during 2009, down nearly $5 billion from the $58.703 billion estimate it entered the year with. While the Internet's share of total worldwide ad spending has actually nudged up two-tenths of a point since then, it is down three-tenths of a point from ZenithOptimedia's last forecast in July.


While online media is taking fewer total advertising dollars, ZenithOptimedia's forecast indicates it is taking a bigger slice of a receding advertising pie during the global economic recession. The Internet's share of total ad spending in 2009 now is estimated to be 2.1 points higher than it was in 2008.



Looking forward, however, ZenithOptimedia has dramatically reduced the outlook for Internet spending and share in 2011, the furthest date in its current forecasting model. The agency now believes Internet ad spending will total $65.557 billion in 2011, down more than $18 billion from its initial forecast coming into this year. Even more significantly, the Internet's share of worldwide ad spending has been adjusted downward from a projection of 15.6% in December of 2008 to ZenithOptimedia's current projection of 14.9%.

While it has reduced its overall expectations for online media, the agency nonetheless remains bullish on the medium, "The Internet is the only medium we expect to grow in 2009, by 9.2%. This is slightly lower than the 10.1% growth we forecast in July, but we have downgraded Internet advertising by less than the market as a whole."

ZenithOptimedia said that most of the Internet advertising growth currently is coming paid search and "innovative" new formats.

"In the US - where we have the most detailed breakdown of Internet advertising by type - we forecast paid search will grow by 20% in 2009, while Internet video grows 19%, social media grows 45% and mobile grows 69%," the agency's new report reads. "Traditional display and classified are practically static in comparison: we forecast them to grow by 3% and 2% respectively this year."


Global Internet Ad Spending/Share Estimates Are Trending Downward






Internet Ad Spending

Share Of All Ad Spending

Internet Ad Spending

Share Of All Ad Spending

October '09

$54.087 billion


$65.557 billion


July '09

$56.797 billion


$72.085 billion


April '09

$54.298 billion


$69.695 billion


December '08

$58.703 billion


$84.145 billion


Source: ZenithOptimedia Group


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