UBS Media Conference News

Magna Expects 4.5% Decline in U.S. Spending in '09

Forecaster Robert Coen Sees a 0.3% Decline in Global Ad Spending

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NEW YORK ( -- Echoing the sentiments of his peers, Robert Coen, senior VP-director of forecasting at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Magna, predicted that global ad spend would decline 0.3% to $640.7 billion at the opening session of the 36th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference here in New York.

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In his report, Mr. Coen stated the continued economic problems in the U.S. and the lack of "extra" Olympic and political ads will result in a 4.5% decline in U.S. advertising for a total of $258.7 billion.

And while he predicts many countries overseas will experience similar problems, he's projecting ad spending to be up slightly at 2.7% to $382.0 billion. If there's to be any improvement in ad demand in 2009, it will not happen until later in the year.

"There could be some bright cloud in here," he said at this morning's panel, The First Forecast: Advertising 2009. "But I don't know where it is."

Mr. Coen's figures show a decline in U.S. ad spending for 2007, 2008 and 2009. That's the first three-year decline since the Depression; Mr. Coen's historic data show ad spending fell for four consecutive years then -- in 1930, '31, '32 and '33.

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