Dentsu Revises Ad Outlook Downward, Cites Macro Economy

Citing "macroeconomic factors," Dentsu this morning became the latest major agency holding company to revise its 2023 ad outlook downward.

Dentsu now estimates global ad spending will rise 3.3%, down half a point from the 3.8% it projected in its last forecast in December 2022.

Dentsu also reduced its U.S. at growth projection for the year down more than a percentage point, to 2.6% from the 3.7% growth rate it forecasted in its year-end 2022 forecast.

"We still expect global advertising spend to grow despite the economic uncertainty," Dentsu Media International Markets CEO Peter Huijboom writes in the forward to the agency's new forecast, adding, "However, media price inflation is the true driver of this increase and hides the more lackluster reality: 2023 will be a flat year for ad spend."

Dentsu's downward revisions shaves a tenth of a point off of the Big 4 agency holding companies' 2023 ad growth consensus (see below), and three tenths of a point off of the U.S. ad growth consensus for this year (see bottom).



At +4.0%, the big agency U.S. consensus continues to look stronger than Standard Media Index's U.S. Ad Market Tracker, a composite index of actual media spending processed by the major agency holding companies and independent media services agencies.

The index shows ad spending falling in the mid-single digits through the first four months of the year, though April -- -1.5% -- was the most moderate year-over-year decline since September 2022.

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