Global advertising fell more than expected in the first half of the year but the downturn could be bottoming out, a leading media agency said on Monday.
ZenithOptimedia said global ad expenditure in 2009 would drop 9.9 per cent following the poor first half, compared with a predicted fall of 8.5 per cent made in July.
"However, this downgrade almost entirely relates to first-half activity," the agency said in a report. "Since then improvements in economic confidence have been accompanied by positive signals from media owners that the downturn is bottoming out.
"We are still confident that the second half of the year will be much less painful for the ad market than the first half, and expect the market to hit bottom before the end of 2009."
Another media network, Carat, said in October it also expected global ad spend to fall almost 10 per cent in 2009 before a return to slight growth in 2010.
Zenith said it now forecast a recovery in 2010 of 0.5 per cent, down from its earlier forecast of 1.6 per cent growth, with developing markets leading the way with 7.8 per cent growth.
Developed markets, which are defined as north America, Western Europe and Japan, are forecast to shrink another 2.9 per cent.
For 2011, Zenith expects 4.3 per cent global growth, with developed markets showing a 1.5 per cent recovery and developing markets growing 9.8 per cent.
Of the different platforms, the Internet is the only medium expected to expand, with 9.2 per cent growth forecast for 2009, while all other media is set to shrink.
The report said newspapers and magazines were in steep decline, with newspaper ad expenditure set to fall 17 per cent this year, and magazine spend down 20 per cent.
"By 2011 we forecast newspaper ad expenditure to be 25 per cent below its 2007 peak, while magazine ad expenditure is 28 per cent below its own peak," the report said.
"Prospects for other media are more encouraging: we expect television, cinema and outdoor advertising to return to growth in 2010, followed by radio in 2011."