With fears peripheral Eurozone countries might be "too big to bail" on the rise, forecasts for global economic growth are becoming increasingly uncertain and pessimistic. But there are grounds for optimism that the marketing world's recovery from the recession will prove resilient.
For one thing, Warc's latest Consensus Forecast - a round-up of global data from third parties - suggests adspend will increase 4.4% in 2010 and by 4.5% in 2011. And ad awards and festivals are enjoying strong demand, with news coming this week that entries to the Eurobest Awards rose 8% this year.
The awards - for which there were 4,339 entries in total - will be handed out at a ceremony in Hamburg on December 8th as part of the Eurobest Festival. Such success follows a common awards theme for 2010; one useful point of comparison in the UK is the IPA Awards, for which 49 entrants were published in 2008, and 67 in 2010 - an increase of 37%.
Browsing the Eurobest entry data, the big story seems to be the changing media mix of campaigns. According to Cannes Lions, the event's organisers, promo and activation campaigns experienced the fastest growth in 2010, with entries 90% up on last year. Integrated was in second, rising 38%, and interactive was up 23% - more than cancelling out channels such as film, print and outdoor, where entries actually fell this year.
"It's encouraging for all of us to see a more positive outlook," Cannes Lions ceo Philip Thomas says. "While entries in the more traditional categories continue to decrease, reflecting the ongoing changes within the industry, the newer categories such as Promo & Activation, Integrated, Interactive and Craft, as well as the newly-launched PR category, have seen remarkable growth."
A similar media mix story emerges in the Warc Consensus Forecast: adspend for both newspapers and magazines are predicted to drop 2.8% this year, and online is to rise 13.7%.
Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that awards entries and adspend trends do not correlate entirely.
For example, outdoor was the worst-performing channel for Eurobest entries, falling 23%. But outdoor spend is predicted to increase by 5.2% worldwide.
This disjunction is partly explained by the fact Warc's forecast is global, while Eurobest, as its name suggests, only accepts campaigns which have run in Europe, or which have been created by European agencies. In fact, a deeper dive into the global Warc figures show that, while outdoor adspend will enjoy double-digit percentage increases in BRIC nations, it is actually forecast to fall by 4.5% in Spain and by 0.7% in Germany.
But taken as a whole, both sets of data - awards and adspend - signal a relatively rosy future for the ad world.