Ad forecasting guru Robert J Coen is predicting that US adspend for 2002 will be lower than previously expected.

Coen, senior vp and forecasting director at Universal McCann in New York, has lowered his closely watched spend projections to $236.2 billion, down from the $239.3bn he predicted in December.

This translates into annual growth of 2.1%, down from his earlier expectations of 2.4%. Suffering particularly is national advertising, where growth forecasts have been slashed from 2.5% to 1.9%, while the outlook for local media has improved from 2.3% to 2.4%.

The ad augur blamed the confidence-sapping effects of corporate scandals and stock market decline for the downward revision. In particular, brokers and marketers of mutual funds slashed spend by 31% between the first quarters of 2001 and 2002.

Other factors include the soft recruitment advertising market and poor ad sales by cable television networks and national magazines. However, national broadcast TV and radio are expected to benefit from increased adspend.

Outside the US, Coen cut 2002 adspend forecasts from December’s $226.8bn to $214bn. This would give a worldwide total of $450.2bn, 2.1% higher than 2001 spend.

Growth is expected to return to more ‘normal’ levels next year. Coen predicts a 5.5% rise for 2003 to $475bn worldwide and $249.2bn in the US.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff