London-headquartered Zenith Media, Britain’s largest media shop, has forecast a stable year for ad growth in the UK.

Pointing to strong retail sales, consumer confidence and mortgage borrowing in early 2001 as signs of a steady economy, Zenith has predicted 1.3% growth in adspend in real terms for the year as a whole. However, this could be threatened should there be a protracted economic downturn in the US or continental Europe.

Propping up this growth, says Zenith, will be print, radio and outdoor ads, though the TV market is set for a bumpy year. Display revenue for national newspapers is set to rise between 3% and 5% per annum over the next five years, driven by an increase in colour advertising. The same sector will also see 3% annual growth in expenditure on classified ads.

Regional newspapers are also due to see a rise in ad revenue from the grocery, retail and household appliance markets, with traditional advertisers also boosting the outdoor industry. Meanwhile, radio advertising is set for 8% growth (reduced from earlier forecasts of 15%) this year, with a particularly strong performance in the second half.

Commented Adam Smith, Zenith’s head of knowledge management: “We are hoping that the general advertising economy will avoid recession. Our confidence doesn’t seem to be wavering. In the US we have lost a big chunk of advertising, but it is off a much higher base.”

In comparison, Zenith recently predicted a fractional decline in US adspend in real terms [WAMN: 04-Apr-01].

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)