PARIS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Global spending on advertising is expected to grow 5.3 percent this year, slightly lower than initially forecast, because of tension between Russia and western countries over Ukraine, according to market researcher Zenith Optimedia.
The forecaster, which is owned by advertising agency Publicis, also trimmed its expectations for ad sales for next year to 5.3 percent and 5.9 percent in 2016 citing weaker outlooks in central and eastern Europe, North America and the Middle East.
“The conflict in Ukraine severely disrupted the domestic ad market, while Russia has suffered,” Zenith said in a statement, adding that Russian ad spend would grow only 1.7 percent this year.
“This will be the first year in which Russia will not grow at a doubledigit rate since 2009.”
The world’s largest advertising groups such as Martin Sorrell’s WPP, Omnicom and Publicis often post growth rates correlated with global gross domestic product. They are set to benefit this year as the United States - the largest ad market followed by Japan and China - is expected to grow as unemployment falls.
Zenith said the total amount of media spend will reach up to $523 billion at year end.
Publicis shares have fallen about 14 percent this year because of weak growth after the company’s failed merger with Omnicom, which is down 5 percent. WPP is down nearly 7 percent.
Reporting by Leila Abboud