GroupM forecasts: 2012 global ad spending to increase 6.4%

New York : A vigorous Japanese advertising recovery following the nation’s devastating natural disasters coupled with anticipated spending on the Olympics, European football and the U.S. elections will contribute to an estimated 6.4 percent growth in measured worldwide advertising spending in 2012, according to a newly revised forecast from GroupM.

The revised spending forecast was made in GroupM’s biannual worldwide report, “This Year, Next Year,” which predicted that globally, 2011 advertising spending in measured media would hit $490 billion, a 5 percent increase over 2010 spending of $467 billion.

The 70-country forecast also predicted that global ad spending in 2012 would reach $522 billion, a 6.4 percent increase over 2011 spending. The figure is down from an earlier worldwide forecast of a 6.8 percent increase made in July.

For the U.S. market, the report predicted 2011 ad spending of $147 billion, a 3.3 percent increase over 2010 spending of $142.5 billion. For 2012, U.S. ad spending should reach $153 billion, representing a 4 percent hike over 2011. Both those figures were also down from the previous report, which predicted a 3.8 percent hike in 2011 and a 4.2 percent increase for 2012.

“Spending growth in 2012 will be driven primarily by local media where we expect $2.5– -$3 billion dollars in political campaign advertising and advocacy initiatives, said Rino Scanzoni, GroupM’s Chief Investment Officer. “National media will see a slowing in growth as the economy continues to face head winds.”

The study is part of GroupM’s media and marketing forecasting series drawn from data supplied by parent company WPP’s worldwide resources in advertising, public relations, market research, and specialist communications. It was released today by GroupM Futures Director Adam Smith at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York.

“Japan’s advertising recovery has proved substantially more vigorous and resilient than we forecast in our mid-year report,” said Smith. Additionally, the so-called ‘quadrennial effect’ of the American elections, the Olympics and European football are worth an estimated 1 percent of incremental growth in 2012.

Smith also pointed out that the report’s forecasts across most of the faster-growing world in 2012 were unchanged from the previous report in July and that those nations account for 66 percent of global ad spending.

Measured digital media investment is predicted to provide 43 percent of the global dollar growth in 2012, according to the report. Global digital ad spending is expected to reach $84.7 billion in 2011, a 16 percent increase over 2010, and $98.2 billion in 2012, also representing a 16 percent hike.

“We expect digital to comprise 22 percent of all measured ad investment in mature western economies in 2012, and 12 percent in the faster-growing world,” Smith said. “The predicted respective digital growth rates in 2012 are 11 percent and 37 percent, so the faster-growing world is catching up fast.”

Global ad spending on paid inventory in social media is likely to be around $5 billion in 2011 or about 6 percent of measured online ad investment. Smith said this is probably the largest single growth component in paid-for digital today, on a trajectory which could double to $10 billion within two years.

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