In its second revised adspend forecast this year, global media planning and buying network Zenith Media now predicts that the world’s seven major ad markets – the US, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Italy, and Spain (ranked in spending order) – will decline by 2.6% this year, or minus 4.7% in real terms.

The shop’s latest prognostication, released Friday, says the downward trend in the seven key markets is unlikely to reverse in 2002, with growth declining by a further 0.8% or minus 0.8% after allowing for inflation. Between them, the markets account for 75% of all global advertising expenditure.

Zenith’s report covers adspend in the major media: TV, press, magazines, radio, cinema and outdoor. Predictions for 2001 versus 2000 (excluding inflation) are: US (-4.2%), France (+0.8%), Germany (-4.0%), Italy (+3.1%), Spain (-1.8%), UK (-3.0%) and Japan (+1.5%).

Switching to its longer-vision crystal ball, Zenith compares 2002 with 2001 (unadjusted for inflation), when good cheer is not quite in such short supply: US (+0.1%), France (+3.6%), Germany (+2.0%), Italy (+5.2%), Spain (+1.8%), UK (+2.0%) and Japan (+0.7%).

According to Zenith, the main reason for the continuing decline is the sag in corporate profitability among the global marketing titans. A secondary cause is the bursting of the dotcom bubble: “Although," says the agency, "this is now working its way out of the year-on-year numbers. The advertising slowdown began with global packaged-goods manufacturers, so the onset was sudden, worldwide, and affected television the most. But now we see it spreading to most other product categories, advertisers, and media.”

Zenith Media is co-owned by Publicis Groupe and Cordiant Communications Group.

News source: AdAge Global