ZenithOptimedia slashes 2009 ad forecast


ZenithOptimedia cut its 2009 global ad growth forecast again as companies continued to cut ad spend in the recession-ridden first half of the year. ZO predicts the global ad market to decline 8.5% this year, upped from its previous forecast of a 6.9% decline. In December ZO forecast the global ad market to fall only 0.2% in 2009.

“Faced with extreme uncertainty, advertisers in most sectors planned for the worst and cut their costs in anticipation of steep drops in revenue,” ZenithOptimedia said in a statement. The sharpest cuts were observed in finance, automotive and business travel.

ZO pointed out that Q2 wasn’t as tough as Q1 and from now on year-on-year comps will start to get a lot easier. China’s ad growth is still predicted to grow 5.4% this year, and India’s 7.7%, ZenithOptimedia said. Global internet advertising should grow 10.1% in 2009, more than ZO had initially forecast.

The agency still predicts a mild recovery of the global ad market for 2010, with a growth rate of 1.6%. North America should decline for a third year in 2010, shrinking a further 2.4%, while Western Europe will stagnate next year.