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Ad budgets: Europe up, APAC down

News, 29 February 2016

LONDON: Marketing activity in February increased in all three regions covered in the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI), but growth took place at very different rates.

The headline GMI for February remained unchanged at 54.8 since January, but growth was particularly pronounced in Europe where the headline GMI rose 0.7 points to 58.7. A benchmark of 50.0 indicates no change.

Meanwhile, marketing activity in Asia-Pacific remained largely stable, increasing 0.2 points to record a headline GMI of 53.4, while the same measure slowed by 0.5 to 52.4 in the Americas.

"The headline Global Marketing Index reading for February indicates that marketing budgets are growing strongly in Europe, but are declining in the Asia-Pacific region and in the Americas," said Ed Jones, chief executive at World Economics.

Underling how robust growth has been in Europe, the region's marketing budgets index recorded a value of 57.7 in February, up from the previous month and indicative of strong growth, contrary to the global downward trend.

By contrast, the marketing budget index for Asia-Pacific fell below the no-change level to 49.6, its first negative result since October 2013 and marking the end of more than two years of consistent monthly growth.

Marketing budgets also continued to decline in the Americas. Its index of 48.7 means the region has witnessed six consecutive months of budgetary falls.

However, on a more positive note, the staffing levels index rose across all regions, in a sign that marketing departments are still hiring.

The staffing level index in Europe reached a three-month high of 59.0, rose slightly in the Americas to 54.2, and increased 2.1 points to 56.1 in Asia-Pacific.

As in previous months, all regions saw strong growth for digital and mobile advertising while traditional media – OOH (47.2), radio (42.4) and press (34.2) – remained in negative territory.

"The allocation of budgets to traditional media continues to suffer from the rapid expansion of spending on mobile and digital media," Jones said.

However, when it came to TV, Europe bucked the global trend and the region was the only one where resources devoted to TV increased, rising 0.5 points to 56.7. This was the highest index score for TV on record, suggesting European TV budgets have never been stronger.

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content by Warc staff