In Case You Didn't Already Know: '2009 Is Annus Horribilis'; UBS Revises Ad Spend Downward

This story was written by David Kaplan.
The year is barely two months old and already, analysts are writing it off. UBS Equities didn't wait long to revise its media ad spending forecast downward, as analyst Matthieu Coppet says the new estimate for online revenues in 2009 is 1.4 percent growth. The old estimate was 10.4 percent growth. As for next year, which is probably too far away to reliably call, even by the most cautious standards, could be back to double digits. UBS' Coppet revised 2010's figures down just a bit to 11.2 percent growth versus his previous call for 13.8 percent growth. But given the way things stand now, the only safe prediction is to expect more revisions downward throughout the year.

Newspapers: Globally, UBS expects newspapers ad revs to fall 11.7 percent in '09. That compares last year's 6.7 percent
drop, while expecting a further slide of 2.8 percent in 2010. The company's prior estimates for the category were down, for 2008 to 2010, respectively, 3.1 percent, 8.8 percent and 1.9 percent. For the US newspapers' adspend, UBS now forecasts, for the same three-year period starting in '08 a fall of 4 percent , -19.4 percent, and 11.4 percent.

Magazines: This category will do slightly worse than expected this year, as UBS anticipates magazines' ad revs will fall 8 percent as opposed to the 3 percent drop UBS expected last fall. Next year, mag revs could be down .8 percent versus the .1 percent in UBS' previous projections.

By David Kaplan