ZenithOptimedia Ups U.S., Global Ad Forecasts

5:01 PM PST 03/13/2012 by Georg Szalai

The media planning firm cites "signs that large companies are investing more in marketing to drive growth and a reduced risk of disastrous collapse in the euro zone" along with quadrannial events like the Summer Olympics.

NEW YORK - ZenithOptimedia has slightly increased its global and U.S. advertising expenditure forecasts for 2012, citing "signs that large companies are investing more in marketing to drive growth and a reduced risk of disastrous collapse in the euro zone."

The media planning and buying firm now projects global ad spending to grow 4.8 percent this year to $489 billion, slightly up from its 4.7 percent forecast in December.

Meanwhile, U.S. major media ad growth, which excludes direct mail, telemarketing and PR, will reach 3.6 percent this year, up from a December estimate of 3.5 percent and a reported gain of 1.6 percent last year, Zenith said. That will bring U.S. spending to $159.7 billion this year, which will be followed by gains of 3.8 percent and 4.8 percent in 2013 and 2014, according to its projections. "As we move further past the recession, we expect continued increases," Zenith explained.

It expects the largest U.S. increases this year to come in Internet advertising (where it eyes a gain of 17.8 percent) and cable TV (10 percent), while network TV ad spending will decline 1 percent  and syndication will drop 12 percent.

The quadrennial events of the Summer Olympics, which will take place in London, European soccer championships and U.S. presidential elections plus the Japanese recovery following last year's earthquake and tsunami will add $7 billion to global growth this year, Zenith still predicts.

Meanwhile, the Internet’s share of ad expenditures will rise from 16.4 percent in 2011 to 22.1 percent in 2014 and then exceed 30 percent in six markets, the firm said.

China and nine other developing markets will account for half of global ad spend gains between 2011 and 2014, according to the new forecast. China is now the third-largest ad market in the world and is narrowing the gap with second-placed Japan. In 2015, China will become number 2, and Brazil will become the fifth-largest ad market, according to Zenith.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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