The gloom enveloping the US ad industry deepened yesterday, with the news that leading media augur Jack Myers has again lowered his adspend predictions for 2001, forecasting for the first time a year-on-year decline.

Myers, chief economist at New York-based media and research company Myers Reports, now predicts that American adspend will fall 1.5% this year in comparison with 2000. In December, the oracle prophesied a rise of 4.9%, revising this down to 2.4% only last month.

The decision to make further reductions to the full-year forecast was prompted by the continuing downturn in the US economy. “[This] is much deeper and of longer duration than we anticipated,” explained Myers. “We are in a genuine advertising recession, and we can expect some radical belt-tightening and shifting of business plans and strategies.”

The longer-term outlook is not particularly healthy either. For 2002, Myers predicts a meagre 0.2% year-on-year rise in adspend, compared to forecasts of 2.2% he made in December and April.

News source: New York Times