The sustained boom on Madison Avenue shows little likelihood of decelerating, according to a veteran US forecaster of advertising expenditure.

Presenting his predictions to an audience of analysts and adpeople at Manhattan’s University Club, Robert J Coen, senior vice president and forecasting director at Universal McCann, said he had upgraded his estimates for 2000, basing these on more robust economic conditions than expected. Other contributory factors were strong spending to date this year by major category marketers from automobiles to computers to drugs. "We think these good trends will continue. There is continued strong demand for media time and space," Coen said.

In his twice-yearly presentation, Coen who has been tracking adspend trends since 1948, predicted that US advertising expenditure this year would total a record $235.6 billion, up 9.4% from a revised figure of $215.3 billion spent in 1999 – itself an increase of 6.8% on the $201.6 billion spent in 1998. An increase of 9.4% in 2000 would be the largest percentage gain since 1984 when ad spending rose 15.8% percent.

Coen was equally bullish about ad spending abroad, citing expected gains in several countries that account for about two-thirds of all spending outside the United States – among them Canada, France, Germany and Italy. Overseas spending should total $229.2 billion, Coen said, an increase of 7.2% from a final total of $213.8 billion for 1999.

News source: New York Times