ZenithOptimedia Forecasts 3.9% Global Ad-Spending Jump

Expenditures Predicted to Hit $518B This Year; Surge Anticipated in Latin America

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Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia predicts global advertising expenditures will grow 3.9% in 2013, reaching $518 billion by the end of the year. That's down slightly from the 4.1% the agency forecast in December, but "mainly because 2012 turned out better than we expected, leaving tougher comparatives for 2013," according to the report.

ZenithOptimedia's forecast shows an upward trend for ad investments in the Middle East and North Africa—a first for the region since the Arab Spring in 2011. It also calls for spending surges in rising markets like Latin America.

Although the group is hopeful that the eurozone will start to pull out of recession toward the end of the year, which could strengthen the global ad market, it expects that ad-spending growth will remain behind GDP growth. Its forecasts for 2014 and 2015 are unchanged at 5.0% and 5.6%.  

Mature markets, including North America, Japan and Western Europe, are on track for spending growth of just 1.8% in 2013. Spending in rising markets -- every other region -- should rise 8.2%.

Despite low expectations for mature markets, the U.S. should continue to serve as the biggest contributor of new ad dollars to the global market. The agency expects the region to contribute 28% of the $76 billion that will be added to global spending between 2012 and 2015. Due to slow economic growth, the agency predicts a modest 3.5% increase in ad spending for 2013, but momentum of 4.3% in 2014 and 4.8% in 2015.

The agency predicts that rising markets will contribute 63% of growth between 2012 and 2015 and increase share of global ad spending from 34% to 38%. High-growth markets include Latin America and various regions in Asia and Eastern Europe. In the Middle East and North Africa, it's forecasting 5.5% growth in ad expenditure this year; 6.8% in 2014; and 8.9% in 2015.  

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