Global Ad Consensus Grows Gloomier, Online Remains The Sweet Spot

Citing increasing economic uncertainty and a "reluctance from marketers to commit ad spend," Warc (formerly known as the World Advertising Research Center) Friday issued a "gloomier" revision to its ongoing tracking of ad industry forecasts.

Warc's new "consensus" estimate calls for worldwide ad spending to rise 4.4% this year, a downward revision of more than half a percentage point from the 5.1% rate of growth it estimated for 2011 in April.

Warc's consensus is based on a weighted average of ad spending projections at current prices from a collection of ad agencies, media monitoring services, analysts' reports, and Warc's own proprietary projections, which it noted are generally more negative than those of the other industry sources.

The consensus is a compilation of estimates for 13 major advertising markets, the most negative of which are in Western Europe -- especially Italy, which lost 3.3 percentage points from its April outlook and is now expected to decline 0.7% in 2011. Spain will also decline 0.7%, losing 3.1 percentage points from April.



Warc said the downward revisions are consistent with the "recent loss of confidence in these economies."

The report did not break out new projections for the world's largest ad market, the U.S. -- which accounts for about half of all ad spending -- but it noted that several markets actually improved their outlooks from April, including Russia, which is now expected to expand 19.8% this year (up 3.6 percentage points from April). China's outlook rose 0.8 points to +14.1% and Canada's rose 0.1 points to +5.4%.

Among the major media, Warc said online will expand the most, rising 14.6% in 2011 and 13.3% in 2012. TV is projected to rise 5.0% in 2011 and 7.5% in 2012.

Warc's revised global ad spending consensus for 2012 for all media is now +6.3%, a slight improvement from the 6.2% it projected in April.

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