PARIS: The global advertising market is continuing to witness a gradual improvement in trading conditions, but growth will remain slow for the foreseeable future, according to Maurice Lévy, chief executive of Publicis Groupe, the marketing services conglomerate.

Speaking on French radio, Lévy, who has been one of the more optimistic commentators on the ad industry's prospects in recent times, said "things are improving very slowly but progressively."

"The good news is that there has been no further deterioration of the market so far in the second half of the year," he added, although he further predicted that the recovery will move at a slow pace.

Publicis is also close to completing the takeover of Razorfish, the digital advertising agency it acquired from Microsoft, the IT giant, earlier this year, according to its ceo.

Recently, MediaVest, one of the holding group's major media networks, reported it was planning to shift a "significant" amount of spending to Hulu, the video-sharing platform, and away from television and other forms of online ads, indicating its increased focus on new media.

Sir Martin Sorrell, Lévy's counterpart at WPP Group, has also argued that digital media will be a key driver of growth in the future, although he remains more gloomy about adspend levels.

Having previously predicted the recession would take the form of an "italic-L", Sorrell has now suggested an alternative "LUV" formula.

This will include a "Little" recovery in much of Europe, a "U-shaped" upswing in the United States, and a "V-shaped" recovery in Asia, he said.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal/BNET; additional content by Warc staff