Asian ad growth will power a 4.5% global increase in advertising expenditure this year, according to Initiative Media.

The media network reported a 0.9% rise in worldwide spend for 2002 to $251 billion ($237bn; £160bn). It believes Asia will fuel much a higher increase in 2003, with total ad outlay forecast at $262bn.

Leading the world’s ad growth will be China. The advertising sector of the world’s biggest nation has nearly doubled in three years, with spend forecast at $27bn this year. Its 2003 increase will alone boost global spend boost 1.6%, Initiative predicts.

One of the reasons the Chinese ad market can grow so rapidly is that it is not dependent on foreign advertisers – which account for just 20% of total adspend.

Elsewhere in Asia, growth will slow slightly from its 2002 pace as emerging markets near maturity. Japan’s struggling ad market will continue to fall, it is forecast, but less steeply than last year.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff