While many other forecasters have been backtracking a bit on expectations for online ad spend growth this year, UK media shop Carat has upped its forecast very slightly, the company said in an email release. Back in March, the Aegis-owned agency said global online expenditures would be up 23.3 percent this year, and then slow to 18 percent in '09. In its revised outlook, Carat says that worldwide internet spend will grow 23.7 percent this year and 18.6 percent the next. The company says that the internet is still poised to overtake radio this year to become the world's third most popular medium, behind TV and print.
Overall, its global prediction for 2008 is revised downward by just over a percentage point from 6 percent to 4.9 percent. 2009 is also very slightly reduced, from an increase of 4.9 percent to 4.8 percent. The main culprits for the downward revision was pinned on the worsening economies in the US, the UK, Spain and China. Elsewhere, most of the developed economies are predicted to contribute less than 5 percent growth, emerging markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Latin America are likely to see double-digit growth. Looking at newspapers, Carat says ad spending was marginally positive last year with a 0.4 percent increase in 2007, but this year, it is expected to be down 0.8 percent. In 2009, newspapers situation isn't expected to improve much, as Carat says global ad spending there will be down 0.2 percent.
By David Kaplan