In its This Year, Next Year report, GroupM, the media management investment operation of WPP, forecast that global adspend would increase 4.5% in 2014 to reach $534bn, and 5.0% in 2015 to hit $560bn.
This progress is not spread evenly, however, as just 17 markets will account for 93% of expected ad growth this year. The US leads the way with an expected additional $162bn of spending, followed by China, adding $76bn. Other countries contributing include Nigeria, Kenya and Vietnam.
Of China, report editor Adam Smith observed that the consumer economy was continuing to grow. "This, plus intensive digitisation of advertising, keeps China ad investment rising at or near double-digits, with no large print legacy to correct," he said.
The Western Europe outlook, however, was less bright. In the eurozone area, which accounts for 73% of the regional economy, adspend was still 20% below the 2007 peak; amongst those countries hardest hit by the crisis – Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal – it was 47% below the peak.
The report noted that Western Europe also had the world's most print-heavy advertising, although the downward trajectory of adspend in this medium was slowing from double digits to single digits.
And, according to Smith, Western Europe is also the most-digitised ad region in the world, "though this may finally be maturing to judge by digital ad investment growth slowing from double- to high-single digits in 2014 and 2015".
In Asia, GroupM warned that the political and economic challenges being faced in several countries – and it highlighted Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam – meant that ad growth in the Southeast Asia region would slip from double-digit growth to mid-single.
The fastest-growing markets were expected to include India, Brazil and Russia, although GroupM warned that its Russia forecast – already reduced from 10% to 6% – was dependent on the situation in Ukraine remaining stable.
Data sourced from GroupM; additional content by Warc staff