Brian Wieser Boosts Ad Outlooks Nearly A Percentage Point

Days ahead of Monday's year-end updates from the Big 3 agency holding companies, former agency insider and renowned ad industry forecaster Brian Wieser is upgrading his own outlooks for 2023 and 2024 by nearly a percentage point each.

Wieser, who in September projected U.S. ad spending would rise 5.0% and 4.3%, respectively, in 2023 and 2024, now predicts they will expand 5.9% and 5.2% respectively.

He attributed the upward revisions largely to better-than-anticipated growth in U.S. ad spending during the third quarter, something that has been evident from MediaPost's and Guideline's U.S. Ad Market Tracker, which also shows the expansion moving into the fourth quarter with the release of October data earlier this week.



Wieser's estimates, which include a broader base of ad spending data, are even more robust.

"During 3Q23, I estimate U.S. advertising (including directories and direct mail but excluding political advertising) grew by 8.1%, a meaningful acceleration over 2Q23’s 4.6% rate and 1Q23’s 1.6%," Wieser writes in the latest edition of his Madison and Wall newsletter.

"Relative to my prior expectations, the third quarter was a very good one," he continues, adding that, "Looking forward, there appears to be a significant degree of positive momentum in the U.S. advertising industry despite sentiment that often appears to be negative."

He singled out some disruption in U.S. ad spending due to the Israel-Hamas war, as well as "soft results" reported by some publicly-traded companies, but that they were brief, and "I don’t believe the broader industry experienced noticeable deterioration from the underlying trends that were otherwise proceeding as the third quarter turned into the fourth."

Beyond that, Wieser said certain "secular factors" may or may not be drivers of future ad spending growth, including cross-border ad spending by marketers based in China, the continuing expansion of ecommerce and retail media, and potentially from the introduction of new AI-based ad products from Google, Meta and others.
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