Ad spend to pass 2008 peak in 2012 - ZenithOptimedia

LONDON (Reuters) - Global advertising spending should grow steadily over the next three years and exceed its 2008 pre-recession peak in 2012, when it will reach $495 billion, leading media buyer ZenithOptimedia forecast on Monday.

Boards advertising property for sale and rent are seen in east London, June 7, 2005. REUTERS/Russell Boyce/Files

Ad spending should grow 4.9 percent this year -- slightly ahead of its previous prediction of 4.8 percent growth -- 4.6 percent in 2011 and 5.2 percent in 2012 and 2013, driven by developing markets and digital media, ZenithOptimedia said.

Developing markets are forecast to account for 35.9 percent of all advertising spending by 2013, up from 31.5 percent this year, with China overtaking Germany as the world’s third-largest ad market behind the United States and Japan.

“The U.S. and the big markets in Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy and Britain) are forecast to grow a disappointing 7 percent to 9 percent over the period, held back by concerns over debt, unemployment and government spending,” said ZenithOptimedia, which is part of France’s Publicis, the world’s third-largest ad agency group.

Ad expenditure is expected to grow over the period for all media except newspapers and magazines, which are losing readers to the Internet and whose advertising revenues are forecast to fall 2 percent by 2013.

Television, cinema and outdoor advertising are forecast to outperform the market, helped by new technology such as HDTV, 3D and digital displays that have encouraged more consumption, with TV raising its share of total ad spend to 41.8 percent by 2013.

The Internet will continue to be the fastest-growing medium, with a forecast 48 percent increase over the period.

The growing popularity of Internet video and social media as advertising platforms mean that Internet display advertising will grow faster than paid search for the first time in years.

ZenithOptimedia said the Internet was underrepresented in its figures, as advertisers were investing a lot more in types of online marketing that do not count as ad expenditure in the traditional sense.

Brands are increasingly talking to consumers on their own websites or on social media sites like Twitter, or encouraging consumers to discuss their brands in conversations in forums or on blogs without buying advertising as such.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Marguerita Choy