Ad Spending Growth in 2009

December 9th, 2008

Well, let’s start with the pundits’ top projection: ad spending in Brazil will increase by 30% in 2009!

Apparently ZenithOptimedia’s analyst doesn’t read The Economist, which noted on November 6, 2008 that “a few months ago, Brazil’s economy was growing at its fastest pace since the mid-1990s, driven by record commodity prices and record credit growth. The country’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, declared confidently that “Bush’s crisis” in the United States would not affect Brazil. It all looks very different now. Credit is becoming scarcer and banks more suspicious of each other….” Or perhaps advertisers will ignore these problems.

In my years following the crisis in the future of publishing I’ve never met optimists like the advertising prognosticators. There could be a giant meteor heading for Manhattan on January 1, 2009 and they’d still forecast only a modest decline in ad revenue for the year.

In AdAge’s December 8th article, “Forecast for 2009: It Could Have Been Worse,” we’re treated to the relatively upbeat projections not only from ZenithOpti(mistic)media, but also from Group M (I kept thinking I saw Robert Coen’s name in there somewhere, but I can find it now).

Of course the challenge with these forecasts is that they’re global ad spend forecasts, and most U.S. publishers are not particularly interested that Russia is projected to have 5% ad growth next year.

What about the U.S.?

ZenithOptimedia expects a 6.2% drop in the U.S., while Group M is placing its chips on a 3.2% drop.

Interestingly, while both project significant growth is Internet ad spending, both have ratcheted their projections down by 50% or more.

And as a final note to those who expect all old media to kneel to the Kindle tomorrow, “Despite all the talk about newspapers (23.8%) and TV (38.3%) losing their appeal as ad media, ZenithOptimedia expects both to still garner the lion’s share of ad dollars in 2009.”