2009 ad forecast drops

Global advertising spending is set to fall 6.9 per cent this year to $453 billion with the Internet the only medium to attract higher expenditure on ads, media agency ZenithOptimedia said, cutting a previous forecast.

ZenithOptimedia predicts the rate of decline would slow towards the end of the year and said spending might pick up in 2010, although visibility is limited. It had in December predicted a flat 2009 market.

The agency blamed “unprecedented economic problems” for the expected decline, saying this had led to poor corporate confidence and consumers putting off big purchases. “Since we released our last forecasts in December the global ad market has taken a substantial turn for the worse,” the company said.

Television, still the most popular medium with advertisers, will increase its share of advertising budgets to 38.6 per cent from 38.1 per cent as cash-strapped consumers spend more time at home watching TV and advertisers stick to what they know and trust. Spending on Internet advertising is set to rise 8.6 per cent, down from 20.9 per cent growth in 2008, driven by consumers searching online for bargains as well as advertisers favouring the medium for its trackable results and innovative methods.

In absolute terms, however, TV advertising spending will decrease by 5.5 per cent and broadcasters will suffer disproportionately as a growing number of digital channels fight for their share of that budget

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