The latest forecast from international media network ZenithOptimedia predicts that adspend will grow globally by 6.1% in 2006,. The figure is a marginal 0.1% increase on the agency's April forecast.

The mini-boost in advertising fortunes is due to stronger than expected growth in the USA and Europe. Worldwide growth is expected to continue above the 5.0% average of the last decade, reaching 5.3% in 2007 and 5.6% in 2008.

A key factor is the soccer World Cup, although its beneficial effect on adspend has by no means been universal. Stateside, the game remains a minority sport and its adspend impact in host nation Germany was muted due wide coverage of the event by ad-free public channels. Likewise in the UK.

Comments ZenithOptimedia head of publications Jonathan Barnard: "The World Cup has had surprisingly little effect on the ad market in the host country. We forecast total adspend in Germany to grow 1.6% in 2006, up from 1.2% in 2005. In the UK, coverage was split between the ad-free public broadcaster BBC and the commercial channel ITV1."

However, the soccer shot in the arm was more evident elsewhere in Europe, with TV spend expected to grow by 4% in the Netherlands, 3.5% in France and 3.4% in Belgium. But ZO predicts the world TV market as a whole will grow by just 1% this year.

Online advertising, however, continues its orbital growth velocity, soaring ahead of all other media. It is now expected to grow 76% between 2005 and 2008. If ZO's prognostication is correct, the web will outstrip outdoor to become the world's fifth largest advertising medium by the end of 2006.

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia and; additional content by WARC staff