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Study: Asia-Pacific Poised to Overtake North America as Advertising Leader

The worldwide market for advertising should grow to $676.2 billion in 2016.

The global market for advertising is expected to grow at a healthy clip over the next several years despite a sluggish worldwide economy, and the Asia-Pacific region will surpass North America in overall ad revenue in 2014, according to a new study set for release Wednesday.

Ad revenue in North America will hit $179.5 billion this year and grow to $192.8 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer, whose CEO Geoff Ramsey will unveil highlights of the forecast at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, and Starcom MediaVest Group. The Asia-Pacific region, meanwhile, will hit $162.4 billion this year and grow to $197.4 billion in 2014, eclipsing North America for the first time.

Much of the growth is attributed to the Internet, according to the study.  In Asia-Pacific, about 1 billion people will go online at least once a month in 2012 and the number will grow to 1.4 billion by 2016. The study indicates that 2.15 billion people will use mobile phones in the Asia-Pacific countries this year.

“Globally, spending on advertising will rise from $538.75 billion in 2012 to $676.17 billion in 2016, as the advertising industry has proved quietly resilient despite ongoing economic hurdles worldwide,” according to a synopsis of the study.

Of the six regions worldwide, Middle East and Africa is the laggard, though its growth is significant. This year, that region will generate $17.8 billion in ad revenue and it will grow to $22.8 billion in 2016.

Eastern Europe will grow from $23.8 billion this year to $32.7 billion in 2016; Latin America will grow from $34.7 billion this year to $52.3 billion in 2016; and Western Europe from $120.6 billion this year to $132 billion in 2016.

By 2016, Asia-Pacific will be at $232.8 billion compared to $204.6 billion for North America, according to the study.

The study also notes that social networking is exploding in the Middle East and Africa region, where 70 percent of the area’s Internet users will engage in the practice this year, “thanks partly to the central role played by social sites during the Arab Spring.”