After a 3.7 percent growth for the full year 2013, the global advertising market picked up speed again in the first quarter of 2014—growing by 4.8 percent. Advertising was most notably active during the month of February (up 8.4%), which may in part be due to increased revenue from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Regionally, North America pumped 6.9 percent more investments into advertising, as US consumers became considerably more confident in the economy. Nielsen reports that US consumer confidence grew six points from Q4 2013 to 100—despite the fact that a severe winter cooled the economies of both Canada and the United States.
The Asia Pacific ad market, a beacon of stability during 2013, cooled to a 2.1 percent growth during the first quarter, mainly due to a slowdown in China (up 1.5%). The emerging markets of Indonesia (up 14.4%) and Malaysia (up 13.3%) helped counteract some of the negative trends.
In Europe, the ad market looked very similar to how we ended 2013—down slightly by -2.1 percent. With disappointing economic figures from some of the major markets in Europe, it appears advertisers in Europe are still exercising caution despite the careful optimism for a recovery.