Adspend to fall, but agencies to remain

22 April 2009

NEW YORK: Global adspend will decline by 6% in 2009, with US revenues down by 9% over the year as a whole, according to JPMorgan, which also argues that Google does not currently represent a "threat" to the position of ad agencies.

As shown by WARC's Consensus Forecast, the average decline in adspend this year is predicted to by 5.9%, with online, and the search sphere dominated by Google in particular, likely to be rare cases where overall revenues expand.

JPMorgan states that alongside the slump in the US, marketing spend will drop off by 6.5% in Italy and 9.2% in Spain, with the UK, France and Germany also all posting slides of between 7% and 8%.

China, by contrast, will see growth of 7%, with Brazil and India also enjoying "double-digit" uplifts.

Overall, the company says the fall in adspend has been "milder than expected", partly due to "muted growth" in the last few years, and as marketers are "reluctant" to cut back given the "correlation" between adspend and sales in many markets.

When the downturn does draw to an end, the financial services firm predicts that "the share shift to new media such as digital will pick up again" as advertisers become less cautious.

As agencies are "media agnostic," they should have sufficient "flexibility to change with the market" and retain their central role as this process gathers pace.

While Google has previously been argued to be a "frenemy" to ad agencies, JPMorgan also suggests it does not constitute a "real threat," as it is unlikely to try and "encroach" further on their territory than its current online ad placement programme.

Data sourced from JPMorgan/AdWeek; additional content by WARC staff