Summer Redstone, chairman and chief executive of US media giant Viacom, forecasts an early end to the current slump in the advertising industry.

Speaking to the BBC, Redstone declared: “I would say [an early upturn is] quite likely…in either the third or fourth quarters.” Underlying this belief is the hope that the US can avoid a recession. Redstone opined that he “wouldn’t use the word ‘sick’” to describe the American economy, adding “We’ve been hit as much by perceptions as by reality.”

Redstone’s optimism echoes recent comments by AOL Time Warner chief executive Gerald Levin that ad revenue appears to be “stabilising” [WAMN: 21-Jun-01]. But it also stands in stark contrast to the continued gloom among analysts such as Zenith Media and Merrill Lynch, both of which predicted last week that the ad industry would not pick up significantly until next year [WAMN: 29-Jun-01]

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)