McCann prognosticator lowers ad spending forecast

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New York--Citing the sluggish turnaround in some media and persistent softness in categories such as computers, airlines and financial services, media advertising forecaster Robert J. Coen has lowered his spending outlook for this year.

Coen, senior VP-director of forecasting at Universal McCann, a division of McCann-Erickson Worldwide, told analysts and the press Wednesday that he now expects a 2.1% increase to $236.2 billion in total U.S. advertising this year, down slightly from his December projection of 2.4% growth.

"I was too optimistic in December," Coen conceded. He said the softening in stock market values since the beginning of the year has slowed ad spending by financial services marketers and indirectly caused other marketers to be cautious about spending.

He did indicate the "latest information on the economy is actually better than we thought it was going to be back in December," which may indicate marketers will soon begin to spend more and move forward with delayed product introductions. "There's pent-up demand," he said.

Coen does not break out advertising spending in the b-to-b sector.

--Carol Krol

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