Zenith predicts slight recovery in adspend

Zenith Optimedia has predicted a slow recovery from the two-year advertising recession with 1 per cent growth in 2003.

The growth, from $311.7 billion in 2002 to $320.7 billion next year, will be driven by a predicted increase in US adspend from $143.5 billion to $146.1 billion next year. Adspend in Europe is also likely to increase, from $72.1 billion this year to $73.9 billion in 2003.

A slight growth in UK adspend is predicted from $14.5 billion to $14.8 billion. This is expected to be driven by a 4 per cent increase in TV spend.

Advertisers committing more money to television and signs of US advertisers already returning to advertising are the reasons behind the cautious optimism in the report. Zenith Optimedia also predicts that the pace of recovery will increase in 2004 with the Athens Olympics and the US presidential election helping the advertising industry.

Steve King, the chief executive of Zenith Optimedia Europe, said: "The biggest change is likely to be a pick-up in the US of about $2.5 billion following congressional elections and much higher spending on TV. This slightly cautious optimism is driven by the US believing it is coming out of recession. In Europe, there is not the same assuredness that there is a move out of recession.

"The maintenance of strong consumer spending is running alongside declining corporate profitability and the big question mark is whether this consumer spending will increase."