Zenith forecast shows slower market decline

The decline in the global advertising market is to slow to 1.3 per

cent next year, according to the latest predictions from Zenith

Media.



A recovery in travel, leisure and sport advertising linked to World Cup

soccer and the Winter Olympics 2002, combined with a steady FMCG spend,

will help to reverse the decline. But new restrictions on tobacco and

alcohol advertising in several developing markets and the continued weak

showing in dotcoms, telecoms and financial services are expected to drag

any recovery back.



Zenith is predicting a small growth of 2.3 per cent in UK TV ad

revenue.



If accurate, this will mean zero growth in real cash terms. UK growth

will come from a number of positive factors including the relatively

strong UK economy, an expected increase of spending by third-generation

telecommunication companies and the World Cup Finals in Japan and

Korea.



TV prices for 2002 should also remain at 1998 levels, according to

Zenith. Net ad revenue for UK TV in 2002 is predicted to reach £3.01 billion, compared with £2.94 billion for 2001, down from

£3.33 billion in 2000.



Zenith estimates a TV revenue decline of 15.4 per cent at ITV, 6.8 per

cent at Channel 4, 10.3 per cent at Channel 5 and 13.4 per cent at

GMTV.



After a relatively good 2001 for magazines, Zenith said that forward

bookings are beginning to suffer and revenues are anticipated to level

off in 2002.



Display and classified ad growth for national newspapers, which fell

from the end of March 2001 after last year's boom categories - finance,

dotcom and IT -slumped, is not expected to recover. The report said: "We

expect no miracles in 2002."



Simon Marquis, the chief executive of Zenith UK, said: "Our numbers

suggest that most media revenues will hold reasonably steady so there is

reason for cautious optimism. However, there is no evidence of a

dramatic upturn, it's rather that we expect to see fewer plunges."



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