After a strong finish to 2011, global ad spend continued to rise in the beginning of 2012: up 3.1 percent compared to the same period (Q1) last year. According to Nielsen’s quarterly Global AdView Pulse report, emerging markets like the Middle East and Africa saw double-digit increases while North America and Asia Pacific saw modest more gains of 2.1 and 1.7 percent, respectively. Overall global ad spend in Q1 2012 was $128 billion USD.
The Middle East and Africa was up 23.3 percent as advertisers turned to budding and stabilizing economies there. In particular, Egypt saw ad spend growth of 67 percent in Q1 following last year’s Arab Spring.
Ad spend in Europe declined slightly (1.4%), with countries most impacted by the recession seeing the biggest changes. Greece and Spain, for example, both saw significant declines, while France, Germany and Switzerland drew more ad dollars than last year. Europe was the only region to see a decrease in ad spend.
While ad spend increased only slightly in January compared to last year, the year-over-year change grew steadily in the subsequent months. By March 2012, global ad spend was 4.5 percent higher than a year earlier. Market conditions and political unrest in 2011 may have contributed to lower spending last year, and Nielsen will watch to see if these increases are sustained in Q2.
The 70-country forecast also predicted that ad spending in 2012 would reach $540.3 billion, a 6.8 percent increase over 2011, sparked largely by anticipated spending on the summer Olympics and the 2012 U.S. political campaigns and elections
The industry analysts expect advertising investment in the Middle East and Africa to grow only 2.5 percent in 2012 (to $16.5 billion).
Here is an overview of advertising spend by individual media, encompassing print, TV, internet, radio, cinema and out of home.
Internet spend is estimated to have grown by 11.1 per cent in Q1 2012 compared with Q1 2011 and is expected to remain strong throughout the year, with a forecast of 10.1 per cent growth and an overall value of £5.3 billion in 2012.
Out of home saw a 3.1 per cent increase in Q1 2012, in a year when Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to drive overall growth by 4.1 per cent to £0.9 billion.
Radio grew by 6.9 per cent in Q1 with forecasts of 3.8 per cent (£0.4bn) in the year overall.
As per a report, the government ad spend is set to increase faster than any other category in 2012 which is traditionally a strong source of radio revenues. Cinema expenditure increased by 9.5 per cent in Q1 with a positive forecast of 3.1 per cent for 2012 (£0.2bn) as a whole.
Meanwhile, the television ad spends fell 0.7 per cent in the quarter but is expected to remain broadly steady with 0.3 per cent growth (£4.2bn) for the year.
The study also revealed that the spend was weakest in press, with a decline of 10 per cent. Overall, press is forecast to fall by 5.1 per cent in 2012 (£3.7bn), though spend is predicted to stabilise in 2013.