PARIS: Maurice Lévy, ceo of Publicis Groupe, the marketing services conglomerate, has predicted that the global advertising slowdown will last until the middle of 2010 at the earliest, but expects online revenues will continue to rise.

The chief executive of the world's fourth biggest advertising holding group by sales said in February that global adspend would decline by 3% on an annual basis this year, but now argues it is "clear that the fall will be even greater."

He further suggests that the "recovery won't come before mid-2010, probably in the third quarter," but online adspend will continue to grow in spite of this, with revenues up by "between 8% and 9%" in 2009.

While the ad market in France, Publicis' home country, seems to be "resisting a little better" than many of its counterparts, Lévy expects it will see a decline in revenues "greater than the 1.9% initially forecast."

He also said the adland giant would not cut any jobs in France this year, and projects that the holding group will generate 50% of its revenues from digital media and emerging markets in 2010.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff