GroupM adjusts expectations for global, Canadian ad spending

August 14, 2013  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Report follows drop in spending among Canada’s top advertisers

Media buying company GroupM announced today a revision to its 2013 global ad spend forecast, to 3.4% from the 4.5% it predicted in December.

The downward revision reflects what GroupM called “continued economic discord” in the Eurozone, specifically in the “Eurozone periphery” of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland.

Reflecting the economic hardships affecting the region, GroupM futures director Adam Smith noted that its share of global advertising investment has fallen from 7% prior to the economic crisis to 3% currently, despite a nominal change in its GDP during the same period.

The revised forecast for Western Europe predicts a 2.4% decline to $97 billion, with spending in 2014 expected to rise only 1.8% to $99 billion (all figures in US dollars).

In its “This Year, Next Year” report, GroupM predicted that global ad spending will reach $507 billion this year. The company also released its first ad spend prediction for 2014, calling for a 5.1% increase to $533 billion.

GroupM is calling for Canadian ad spending to increase slightly, 2.25% to $13.6 billion, this year, followed by similar growth – to $13.9 billion – in 2014. The biggest growth area continues to be digital, which is predicted to grow 5% to $3.2 billion.

Digital will account for 23.3% of the total Canadian ad spend this year, compared with 19% globally. Globally, digital spending is expected to hit $95 billion this year, and will account for one fifth of the worldwide advertising investment next year.

The report also outlines some significant variances in advertising spend by Canada’s largest advertisers, with seven of the country’s top 15 advertisers reducing their ad spending last year.

Procter & Gamble was the country’s biggest advertiser with a 2012 outlay of $177 million, although its ad spend was down 11% from $200 million in 2011 according to the report. It was followed by Rogers Communications ($145m, +17%), GM Corp. ($101m, -29%) and Bell Canada ($90m, – 11%).

Retail remains Canada’s biggest advertising category with total investment of $1.2 billion in 2011, an 8% increase from 2011 – followed by automotive ($1.03b, +6%), food ($612m, +5%) and entertainment ($551m, +3%).

There were also significant increases in spending against internet related sites and services (+16% to $113m), schools including correspondence courses and seminars (+14% to $111m) and real estate (+10% to $305m). The biggest decrease came in government spending (-19% to $145m, and hard to believe given the ubiquity of the “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” ads).

The report also notes China’s preeminence as an “advertising rainmaker,” accounting for 40% of net new global advertising investment. There is similar support for sustain advertising growth in Russia, said the report.

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