By: Katy Bachman

But Forecasters Don’t See a Recession

(Mediaweek Online) Advertising spending in the major media advanced
aggressively in 2000 but the watchwords for 2001 are “soft landing,”
Robert Coen and other ad forecasters said Monday at the UBS Warburg
media conference in New York City.

Compared to 2000, expected to finish with ad spending up 9.8% to
$236.3 billion, the increase will slow to 5.8%, or $250 billion,
in 2001, said Coen, senior vice president and director of
forecasting at Universal McCann.

Despite lagging media stocks and softening fourth-quarter
advertising, “No one is expecting a recession in 2001,” Coen
said. “We don’t see the year falling apart because of some
softness here and there. On balance, it looks pretty strong.” The
comparison with this year’s ad spending, boosted by elections and
Olympics, makes next year’s advance more difficult.

Echoing Coen, Zenith Media Chairman and CEO John Perriss
anticipated “a slowdown in growth, a soft landing” next year as
ad spending grows 4.6%. “Marketing is more a fixed cost for
corporations; it’s not easily cut, so advertising growth is more

For national media, Coen forecast a 4.3% rise to $66.7 billion
next year. That includes projected ad gains of 1% in network TV,
1% decrease for spot TV, 12 .5% gain for cable, syndicated TV up
6%, radio up 5.5%, magazines up 5%, and newspapers 7% higher.

More pessimistic about local media, projected to gain 5% to $98.2
billion, Coen characterized retailers and other local advertisers
as struggling due to higher interest rates and stock market
uncertainties. He figured radio to lead local media with a 6.5%
increase, followed by Yellow Pages at 5.5%, newspapers at 4%, and
TV at 3%.

Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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