LONDON: Global advertising expenditure will increase by 3.9% this year to reach $518bn overall, with emerging markets growing over four times faster than their more mature counterparts, according to a forecast.

ZenithOptimedia, the media services network, said mature markets, defined as North America, Western Europe and Japan, would grow at an average 1.8% for the year, but rising markets, classed as everywhere else, would grow significantly faster, at 8.2%.

Overall, ZenithOptimedia expected rising markets to contribute 63% of the total growth in global adspend between 2012 and 2015 and to increase their share from 34% to 38% over the same period.

It highlighted particular regions, including Latin America, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and "Fast-Track Asia" (defined as China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam), as being "well ahead" of the rest of the world. This group was anticipated to grow at 10% to 11% a year between 2012 and 2015.

Internet advertising was predicted to lead the way, increasing at nine times the rate of traditional media, at 14.4% against 1.6% in 2013, and expected to surpass print by 2015.

Display is the fastest-growing part of the digital advertising market, with annual growth of 20% forecast. And within that, online video and social media are growing even faster, at around 30% a year.

Paid search was expected to benefit from innovation by search engines and to grow at 13% a year to 2015.

"As the global economy strengthens, more opportunities will open up for companies to expand their businesses," said Steve King, global chief executive officer for ZenithOptimedia Group.

"Advertising is an essential tool for launching new products and entering new markets, and advertisers will increase their budgets wherever they can increase the return on their investment," he added.

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff