German ad market recovery continues


MUNICH -- The German advertising industry grew in 2006 for the third straight year in a row, but it has not necessarily completely recovered from the advertising recession of 2001-2003, according to the Central Association for the German Advertising Industry (ZAW).

The association released its analysis of last year's figures this week.

The good news was that growth in advertising overall -- including ads in electronic and print media, as well as posters and direct mailings -- came in at 2.1% for all of 2006. TV commercials were up more than twice that rate, 4.7%, with total TV ad revenue of €4.1 billion ($5.5 billion).

The ZAW analysts attributed a good deal of the above-average growth to last summer's World Cup soccer tournament in Germany, when much of the country was glued to their TV sets from lunchtime until bedtime every day for a whole month.

But Germany still lags way behind other major European Union nations in terms of advertising investment, which between 1996 and 2005 actually sank by 3% in the country. In comparison, advertising spending came closer to doubling in the U.K. and Italy during the same period.

Total advertising spending in Germany during 2006, at more than €30 billion ($40.5 billion), is about the same as it was in 1998, according to the ZAW.

Still, the group predicted growth of 2% for advertising spending in Germany during the current year.

Earlier this month, German broadcast giant ProSiebenSat.1 gave a slightly more bullish projection for 2007 (HR 5/10). CEO Guillaume de Posch forecast an increase of 2%-3% in Germany's overall advertising market this year, with ProSieben expecting to outpace the market.