Credit Ratings Giant S&P Begins '24 With Bullish Ad-Spending Outlook

Independent credit ratings service S&P Global Ratings kicked 2024's advertising outlook off on a stronger-than-expected note, issuing a forecast that U.S. ad spending will rise 7.6% -- nearly two percentage points greater than the most recent agency holding company composite, which projects a U.S. growth rate of 5.8%.

Interestingly, S&P's outlook is even more bullish than the most optimistic holding company forecasting unit -- IPG Mediabrands' 7.2% U.S. ad-growth projection.

S&P's 2025 projection of +4.3% is in line with the holding company consensus of +4.2% for 2025.

The S&P report, aptly titled "Powered By Digital," projects U.S. digital ad spending will rise 10.2% and 8.5% respectively, this year and next, while "legacy" media ad spending will rise only 1.8% this presidential election year, and will decline 5.9% next year.

S&P estimates digital media currently represents 70% of all U.S. ad spending.

The report also makes yet another case that the U.S. advertising marketplace has become decoupled from general economic growth, and says consumer spending growth is now a more precise indicator of ad spending than the expansion of GDP.

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