WPP media investment unit GroupM has cut its global ad-spending growth forecast for 2019 to 3.4%. That’s a downgrade from the firm’s prediction last December, when it called for 3.6% growth for this year.
Earlier, it had been even more confident about this year’s prospects, calling for 3.9% growth. Earlier this month, the group issued a revised U.S. forecast.
GroupM is the second holding company this week to issue a cut in its growth forecast for 2019, following Dentsu Aegis.
Globally, “the economic foundations supporting the advertising industry are somewhat fragile at this time,” noted the report’s author, Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence, GroupM.
For 2020, the report forecasts a slight acceleration on an underlying basis, with a forecast of 4.7% growth. Adding in political advertising in the United States, total global growth will be closer to 6%.
GroupM stated that the U.S., China, Brazil, India and the U.K. collectively account for well over half of growth in 2019 and 2020. China, which represents one-sixth of global advertising, is expected to grow 5.6% in 2020.
Brazil “stands out for its reversal from a -0.9%% predicted decline in 2019 to a +6.1% gain in 2020, despite mixed conditions for its overall economy,” per the report.
“India expects double-digit growth in 2019 (14%) and 2020 (13%), making it set to surpass Australia and Canada by next year as the world’s eighth-largest ad market.”
As for the U.K., projected growth of 6.1% this year and 4.6% in 2020 “makes the world’s fourth-largest ad market one of the healthiest despite the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.”