After slipping slightly by 0.3 per cent last year, the US, the world's advertising largest market (with 46 per cent of global spend), is back with a vengeance. ZenithOptimedia predicts 4.4 per cent growth this year based on renewed consumer confidence (at its highest for two years), an acceleration of GDP growth (up from 3.1 per cent in 2003 to 3.9 per cent expected this year) and employment gradually picking up. Elections and the Olympics will boost adspend in both the US and Canada, where growth of 3.4 per cent is expected. Growth in Canada has been dampened by a fall in spend of its largest advertiser, the Canadian government, which has pledged to cut back on advertising over the next three years after a $100 million sponsorship scandal.
Biggest advertisers: General Motors in the US ($2.5 billion), BCE in Canada ($82.6 million).
Watch out for: The US presidential elections, the outcome of the upfront TV buying season.
Key threats to growth: Personal video recorders, declining network TV audiences in the US, terrorist attacks.
The rollercoaster that is Latin America's economy is experiencing a period of relative calm, buoying the region's advertising market. But it is still largely an unpredictable place for advertisers. Brazil, Latin America's biggest economy, is expected to grow by 3 per cent, while its ad market is primed for 7 per cent growth. Argentina, in economic freefall just a few years ago, is the region's rising star, up 19.3 per cent. Mexico is sluggish.
Biggest advertisers: Telefonica in Brazil ($91.7 million), Unilever in Argentina ($9.7 million), Nacional de Chocolates in Colombia ($4.2 million), Unilever in Chile ($6.4 million), Televisa in Mexico ($106.8 million).
Watch out for: The rise of media specialists challenging powerful media owners and the traditional full-service model.
Key threats to growth: Political and economic unrest scaring off US and European advertisers.
There's a huge gulf between the growth rates of the emerging markets of the east and the waking dinosaurs of the west, but the overall outlook is encouraging. Southern Europe should benefit from Euro 2004, as long as there is no repeat of the Madrid terrorist attacks. The UK is looking good, driven by healthy digital uptake, but Germany, the region's biggest market, is stuck and is holding the continent back.
Biggest advertisers: Procter & Gamble in Germany ($288.1 million), P&G in the UK ($288 million), Vivendi Universal in France ($514 million), Fiat in Italy ($88.1 million), Telefonica in Spain ($118.2 million).
Watch out for: The rise of the European Union's new members. The region is set to grow 10.7 per cent this year, according to Initiative.
Key threats to growth: Terrorist attacks, EU advertising legislation (food products to children, even car advertising), continued gloom in Germany.
ASIA & PACIFIC
Understandably, there's a lot of excitement about Asia. China's ad market has doubled in five years and India and Indonesia are gathering pace too. And crucially Japan, the world's second-largest market, is picking itself up off the floor after a decade of chronic decline. This is its first sustained recovery since the 90s, led by falling unemployment and consumers who are beginning to splash out a bit more.
Biggest advertisers: Toyota in Japan ($981.3 million), Procter & Gamble in China ($202.2 million), Coles Myer in Australia ($115.8 million), Unilever in India ($376.2 million), Unilever in Indonesia ($62.5 million).
Watch out for: China's growth boosted further by the Beijing Olympics and Japan as it wakes.
Key threats to growth: Media inflation in China, Sars.
New Zealand 1,025,738
MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA
Despite tumultous times in Iraq and Israel, the Middle East continues to enjoy a steady period of growth. A real-estate boom, plus growth in tourism, hotels and airlines, is bringing with it healthy adspend across the region. A symbol of renewed confidence was LG Electronics' sponsorship of Iraq's national football team. South Africa is the market to watch out for in Africa, set for growth of 22.5 per cent, according to Initiative.
Biggest advertisers: Toyota in Saudi Arabia ($8.6 million), e TV in South Africa ($55.6 million), France Telecom in Israel ($39 million), Procter & Gamble in Lebanon ($33.8 million).
Watch out for: Saudi Arabia. A young, vibrant market, very attractive to advertisers - 50 per cent of its population is under 25.
Key threats to growth: Lack of reliable research, spread of violence to countries outside the familiar trouble spots.
Arabia (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates,
Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar) 3,360,000
South Africa 1,650,770