Luxury Ad Market Recovers, Remains Less Than Luxurious

The luxury advertising marketplace will expand 3.0% in 2016, nearly double the 1.9% it grew in 2015, according to a new forecast released this morning by Publicis’ Zenith unit. While Zenith characterized luxury category ad expansion as a “recovery,” it will trail general ad marketplace growth by a wide margin.

According to Zenith’s last overall ad forecast in March, the general ad marketplace will expand 4.6% in 2016, up from an increase of 3.0% in 2015 -- indicating that the luxury ad marketplace is something less than luxurious in terms of underlying economic health.

Zenith attributed much of the expansion to a recovery in Asia and Eastern Europe, but noted that the U.S. and China continue to account for most of the marketplace’s growth. The U.S. alone will account for nearly 82% of luxury ad category expansion.



Zenith estimates the U.S. represents about 45% and China accounts for 21% of total luxury category spending and the next biggest markets are Germany, France and the U.K. The agency projects the U.K. will overtake France as the fourth-largest luxury ad market this year.

To put the size of the marketplace in perspective, Zenith forecasts total luxury market spending will grow to $10.9 billion this year. That compares with $579 billion in total ad market spending, according to Zenith’s last global ad forecast, released in March.

In an encouraging sign for print media, it will remain the dominant source of the luxury ad spending, although it is losing share to digital, which represents the fastest-rising luxury media.

“Digital advertising is by far the biggest contributor to the growth in luxury advertising, growing consistently at double-digit rates,” reads the agency’s report. “We expect digital media ad [spending] by luxury advertisers to increase by $837 million between 2015 and 2017.

“Over this period, television, radio and cinema will increase by a total of $26 million between them; outdoor will shrink by $10 million; and print will shrink by $150 million. By 2017, print will account for 28.6% of total luxury ad spend, down from 31.9% in 2015.”

By contrast, digital’s market share will increase from 26.3% in 2015 to 32.1% in 2017, the agency forecasts, noting that it will then overtake TV and print to become the single largest medium for luxury advertising.
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