What You Need to Know About the Global Ad Market

Worldwide Spending Is Growing at a Solid Single-Digit Clip. U.S. Spending in 2015 is Finally Set to Pass its Prerecession Peak

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Insights from a forecast being released today by Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia:

Source: Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia (Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, December 2014).
Source: Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia (Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, December 2014).

The global ad market is seeing sustained, solid growth. Projected worldwide ad spending growth: 5.1% in 2014; 4.9% in 2015; 5.6% in 2016; and 5.2% in 2017. Major-media ad spending in 2014 reached a record $520 billion.

U.S. spending in 2015 will break a record. Projected U.S. major-media spending next year will total $183 billion, at last topping the previous peak set in prerecession 2007. U.S. ad spending growth: 4.8% in 2014; 3.8% in 2015; 4.2% in 2016; and 3.7% in 2017.

China is No. 2. China in 2014 passed Japan to become the world's second-largest market based on ad spending. China ranked No. 5 in 2007 and No. 10 in 2000.

Internet share keeps climbing. Internet ad spending in 2014 totaled $122 billion, three times its 2007 level. The internet in 2012 passed newspapers to become the world's No. 2 ad medium, behind TV. The internet's projected share of worldwide ad spending: 23.8% in 2014; 26.5% in 2015; 28.9% in 2016; and 31.1% in 2017. The internet's projected share of U.S. ad spending: 24.8% in 2014; 28.2% in 2015; 31.1% in 2016; and 33.9% in 2017.

Facts from Ad Age's 100 Largest Global Marketers:

Global 100 rises 3.9%. Measured-media spending -- traditional media and some forms of internet advertising -- increased 3.9% to $131.4 billion in 2013 for the 100 biggest global marketers, according to Ad Age DataCenter's analysis. That tracks with ZenithOptimedia's estimate that 2013 worldwide major-media spending increased 3.9%.

Ad budgets saw both double-digit gains and drops. Twenty members of the Global 100 scored double-digit increases in measured spending; 15 had double-digit decreases.

U.S. is home to 42 of the Global 100. Europe is headquarters to 35; the remaining 23 are in Asia.

Personal care cleans up. It ranked as the biggest advertiser category in 2013, with 12 marketers -- including the world's top three spenders, Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever and L'Oréal -- accounting for nearly one-fourth of Global 100 spending. Ad spending on personal care rose 7.6% in 2013, the fastest growth among major categories.

Automakers make up one-fifth of the Global 100. Automotive ranked as the No. 2 category, with 19 automakers driving 20.8% of Global 100 spending.

Red Bull is bullish on China. The energy drink was the Global 100's most China-centric advertiser, with 38.0% of its measured spending in China (reflecting spending by Red Bull's Chinese distributor, Reignwood Group). Other marketers with more than one-fourth of their measured media in China: fast-food seller Yum Brands (KFC), at 35.5%; Estée Lauder Cos., at 29.2%; and food marketer Mars Inc., at 25.9%.

Why some billion-dollar spenders don't make the ranking. The Global 100, produced annually by Ad Age since 1986, is meant to capture multinational, multiregion advertisers -- defined as marketers with measured-media ad spending in at least three major regions. There are seven companies with 2013 worldwide measured-media advertising greater than $1 billion that aren't in the ranking because their measured spending was confined to fewer than three regions.

View the Global 100, a ranking of the 100 Largest Global Marketers by measured-media spending.

Biggest among the seven was AT&T. The U.S. telecom company had 2013 measured-media spending of $1.89 billion. AT&T would rank No. 20 among the world's 25 largest measured-media advertisers in 2013 if Global 100's three-or-more region rule were set aside. The rest of that all-in worldwide ranking would port directly from the Global 100, starting with Procter & Gamble Co. and ending with Italian candy maker Ferrero.

In addition to AT&T, other billion-dollar spenders not in the Global 100 ranking are Japanese retail giant Aeon Co.; U.S. conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway; Naspers, a South Africa-based internet-services and media company; German retailer Schwarz Gruppe; Japan's SoftBank Corp. (including spending for majority-owned U.S. telecom Sprint Corp.); and another U.S. telecom, Verizon Communications.

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