LONDON: Once upon a time advertising expenditure forecasts were a biannual ritual, a macho media chest-thumping, intended to establish the primacy of the media-buying industry's alpha males.

These days, however, Adland is swamped almost daily by media spend forecasts - the latest of which focuses on the UK and comes from the London office of OPera Media, a joint venture between Omnicom media buying networks OMD and PHD.

According to OPera's divining divas, "strong UK company profitability" will boost adspend in 2007 by 3.3%. Major contributors to revenue growth are said to be the outdoor and magazine sectors, respectively up by 5.5% and 2%.

Advertising expenditure in newspapers is forecast to remain flat, as is TV - although a fall of 2.9% had previously been predicted by the agency. In 2008 the medium anticipates an increase of 3%.

Other TV predictions by OPera's crystal ball ...

  • TV revenues will be supported by an estimated 3.3% growth in total advertising revenues, buoyed by healthy consumer spending and company profits, which are currently at record highs. This bodes particularly well for television revenue with its comparatively high entry price.

  • But TV revenues are under pressure from the growth in competitive media and the switch from analogue to digital, prompting greater channel competition and cheaper airtime.

  • However, OPera believes the more established digital stations have used up much of their initial spare capacity, which means there will be heightened price pressure on popular elements of the digital inventory.

  • Commercial audience supply is set to rise by 2.5% in 2007, boosted by 14% growth in multichannel stations, against declines at ITV Sales and GMTV.
The OPera prophesies differ markedly from those issued recently by ZenithOptimedia and Carat. As the Cockney costermonger so aptly put it: "Yer pays yer money and yer tykes yer choice."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff