Worldwide ad spend up 8.9% to $270bn

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LONDON -- China was the world's fastest growing advertising market in 1995, according to the latest report on international ad expenditure from London-based Zenith Media.

Ad spend in China rose by 53% to $3.7bn in 1995 and Zenith predicts further increases, to $5.1bn in 1996 and $8.4bn in 1998. Worldwide spending on advertising was up by 8.9% last year at $270bn.

In Europe, the U.K. retained the fastest growth rate among the principal markets - a 4.3% rise to $15.5bn in 1995 against an expected 3.4% increase. Predictions for the three years to 1998 are for an annual 3.2% boost across all media, though print is likely to lose out to TV and radio, says Zenith.

Elsewhere in Europe, "solid growth" is anticipated. France's faltering economy has reduced ad spend forecasts there, while Yeltsin's victory has pushed Russia's up towards the $1bn mark for 1996 and to $1.66bn in 1998.

Latin America's markets should continue to expand at above 10% each year, says Zenith, so that by 1998 they will contribute more than 8% of the world's ad expenditure. Last year, ad spend in the region ran way ahead of expectations, growing by 27.1% against a 12.1% estimate. The strong performance of the Asian "tiger economies" (whose $70bn ad spend for 1995 amounted to 26% of global expenditure), however, is likely to dip as governments clamp down to prevent economic overheating.

Interactive advertising and cable TV look set to drive ad spends in the U.S., though fears of high interest rates and slowing economic growth are depressing spending forecasts, Zenith reports. In 1995, the U.S. saw its fastest rate of growth in ad spending since 1988: it rose by 6.4% to $95bn, according to the media company.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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