Publicis-owned media planning/buying network ZenithOptimedia today (Monday) unveiled its biannual advertising expenditure forecast. Its mood was bullish, sparked by signs of a recovery this year in US television and magazine revenues.

This, Zenith projects, will kickstart global revenues for 2003 by 3% to $324.5 billion (€283.89bn; £196.37bn). Of this sum, $148.3bn will derive from the USA – 2.7% up on last year’s $144.4bn and driven largely by its bullish TV upfront season.

Says Zenith: “This, plus next year’s summer Olympics and presidential election, are the main positives in a raft of otherwise neutral or weak economic indicators.” By 2005, believes the agency, global revenues will hit $355.3bn.

Less cause for cheer, however, from the European front. Allowing itself generous elbow-room for manoeuvre, Zenith forecasts that adspend at constant prices will fall between 0.5% and 2.6% in each of the continent’s five largest ad markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

The latter, Zenith opines, is shrinking fastest with “TV … notably unaffected by US upfront enthusiasm, having endured the worst share loss of any medium since 1999, with no prospect of restoring its real revenue.”

In Germany, ad growth will need to reach 3.5% next year just to restore spending to 1997 levels; while expansion in Japan – the globe’s second largest ad market – will remain flat at $33.5bn during 2003.

Elsewhere in Asia, though, the picture is brighter. Zenith sees strong current-year growth in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, where adspend is expected to rise 6.6% to $17.3bn. The exception is Hong Kong where Zenith has lopped $275 million from its 2003 forecast.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff