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Both reports were released at the UBS Warburg Annual Media Week conference, in New York.
Robert J. Coen, director of forecasting for Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann, estimated U.S. ad spending in 2003 will reach $249.3 billion, up 5% over 2002, as large advertisers increase spending and put postponed product launches back on track.
"The correction seems to have been acccomplished and completed and we're on our way now," Mr. Coen said. He projected national media will grow 5.3% in 2003, while local media will grow 4.5% as classified advertising begins to recover.
According to a forecast by Zenith Optimedia, increased U.S. spending will push world totals to $320.7 billion worldwide, up 1% after factoring for inflation.
Spending on TV by advertisers will set the pace worldwide, said Zenith CEO John Perriss. Zenith is a joint venture of Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group Worldwide.
North America -- including the U.S. and Canada, another market that had strong ad growth in 2002 -- makes up 48% of the world's ad spending, which drives world totals. Asia Pacific will grow 3.9% after factoring for inflation, in spite of continued weakness in the Japanese market, while Europe will grow only 0.5% due to the weakness in the U.K. and German economies.
But Mr. Perriss cautioned that the U.S. ad market saw $2.6 billion in "exceptional" spending in 2002, mainly political advertising. In 2003, there will be no election to stir spending and consumer demand may slow as economic reality begins catching up to consumers, many of whom have drawn money from their homes to support their spending, he said.
"The consumer has defied the gloom and doom and kept spending. … I question how long that's a sustainable phenomena, absent corporate profits," he said.