LONDON: As 2008 judders toward its close, there's a sense of Jeremiahs jousting to see who can wail woe loudest. In its latest This Year, Next Year forecast, GroupM warns that spend in Britain's traditional media will sag by 10% in 2008 – a seventeen-year low and the worst showing by any developed nation.

But there's worse yet to come in 2009, warns WPP's media-buying management unit, prophesying a further nine per cent plummet for 'old' media.

The pain is likely to hurt most in newspapers' classified ads sector, as demand falls for jobs, house-sales and cars. Regional newspapers, already down 19.1% this year, can expect to see a further 13.2% revenue seepage in 2009.

The 2008-09 picture, although slightly less grim, is broadly similar across the traditional media spectrum, with TV revenues forecast to sag (down respectively 5.8% and 6%); national newspapers (-8.2% and -11.6%); radio (-9% and -8%); consumer magazines (-7.6% and -8.5%); and B-2-B magazines (-8% and -14%).

Internet advertising will continue its upward trajectory, albeit at a far slower pace in 2009. Although the sector grew by 19.1% this year, GroupM believes it will hit a brick wall in 2009, decelerating to a meagre 3.7%.

Adam Smith, futures director at GroupM warns that while "past recessions have lasted one or two years, this one feels like a two, and we are evidently some way from the bottom."

"Any sign of recovery in 2009 would be a nice surprise," he added.

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff