According to the latest ad spending forecast from Zenith (owned by the French ad and market giant, Publicis), a rebound in the US will cause ad spending, globally, to rise faster than previously expected — this year and next. Zenith said in its third forecast for 2016, released overnight, that global ad spending will grow by a better-than-expected 4.4%, up from the 4.1% predicted in June. And Zenith also lifted its forecasts for 2017 and 2018, to 4.5% and 4.6% respectively, from earlier forecasts of 4.3% and 4.4%.

Zenith said Australia will retain its top 10 position globally over the next three years, with the country remaining in eighth spot. In 2015, Zenith said Australian ad spending was US$10.634 billion — that will rise by just US$894 million, or 8.4% to US$11.528 billion in 2018. And like so many other markets around the world, that pace will be due to the rapid surge in ad spending on mobile and social media, not conventional or legacy media, such as TV, newspapers and magazines.

But buried in the report is news that will bring a tiny bit of joy to the beleaguered companies and executives at legacy media groups: the rapid growth in mobile ad spending (and especially at Facebook and other social media platforms, plus Google), will hit desktop ad revenues almost as hard in coming years. Zenith says online desktop advertising spending will start falling more quickly between now and 2018 and that decline will outpace the continuing slide in newspaper and magazine ad spend. — Glenn Dyer

Peter Fray

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