London’s Zenith Media, owned by the Publicis Groupe and the Cordiant Communications Group, has cut its projection for US adspend growth in 2001 to 2.4% over 2000, representing a flat growth rate when inflation is taken into account.

The release of Zenith’s new figures also coincides with a study from media information firm Myers Reports in New York, which found a 24% fall in confidence among executives at agencies and advertisers between December and March.

Myers found that, in March, 20.2% of interviewed executives at client companies planned to increase adspend this year, down from 47.6% in December. Meanwhile, the proportion of respondents planning to cut advertising expenditure rose from 12.8% to 35.6% over the same period. The remaining 44.2% of March’s interviewees said they would spend the same this year as in 2000, up from 39.6% in December.

However, despite the short-term pessimism surrounding the ad industry, Zenith remains confident that spend will pick up towards the end of the year, and has actually raised its forecasts for 2002 and 2003.

News source: New York Times