Carat International's latest Global Market Update predicts that online adspend in the USA will overtake the newspaper sector by next year.

Comments Robert Lerwill, ceo of Carat parent Aegis Group: "Digital is driving growth in almost every single market, transforming the marketing landscape in the process. Investment in digital media has now definitively moved from 'experimental' to 'essential'."

The rise and rise of the once derided advertising medium continues apace. In the UK, it overtook outdoor advertising in 2005 and will outpace magazines this year. In ultra-tech-savvy nations such as Sweden and South Korea, online is set to become the third largest ad medium after TV and newspapers this year.

Among traditional media, Carat reports that TV still rules the roost, especially in the USA where TV spend is heading for 4.3% growth this year, boosted by cable markets, Hispanic channels and the dollar rush injected by this fall's Congressional elections.

Slower adspend growth in Japan has tempered Carat's previous upbeat forecast for Asia-Pacific, although the agency predicts that Nippon's overall economy remains on course for a good 2006. The rest of the region continues to perform well and is expected to receive a further boost at the year-end by the 2006 Asian Games.

A faltering UK market failed to obtain any discernible benefit from the soccer World Cup - likely due to the nation's early exit from the tournament - and European forecasts were revised down accordingly. Italy's economy also remains fragile.

However, Lerwill remains bullish: "2006 is shaping up to be a pretty solid year in the majority of markets around the world and global advertising expenditure is expected to grow by 5.7% worldwide."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff