While ad spend increased only slightly in January compared to last year, the year-over-year change grew steadily in the subsequent months. By March 2012, global ad spend was 4.5 percent higher than in March last year. Market conditions and political unrest last year may have contributed to lower spending last year, and percent as advertisers turned to budding and stabilizing economies there. Nielsen will watch to see if these increases are sustained in Q2— particularly with the European Cup potentially positively impacting trends in the second quarter.
After a strong finish to 2011, global advertising spend continued to rise in the beginning of 2012: up 3.1 percent compared to the same period last year. Overall global ad spend in Q1 2012 grew to $128 billion USD.
Dollars devoted to ads in emerging markets increased at a faster rate than global ad spend as a whole. The Middle East and Africa was up 23.3 percent as advertisers turned to budding and stabilizing economies there. In particular, Egypt saw ad spend growth of 67 percent in Q1 following last year's Arab Spring. Latin America also saw significant year-over-year growth of 9.6 percent. Asia-Pacific grew 1/7 percent, a small increase following large gains in recent years.
In North America and Europe, the ad market did not experience the same level of increase. North American ad spend grew 2/1 percent. Ad spend in Europe declined slightly (-1/4%), with countries most impacted by the recession the hardest hit. Greece and Switzerland drew more ad dollars than last year. Europe was the only region to see a decrease in ad spend.
With consumer confidence up and brands looking to reconnect, it’s no surprise that spending on advertising is on the rise—around the globe and across media types. Television, Newspapers, Radio, Outdoor, Internet and Cinema all saw an increase in ad spend in the beginning of 2012 compared to last year. Though Television continues to attract the majority of advertising dollars, Internet advertising saw the biggest increases, with advertisers spending 12.1 percent more in Q1 2012 than one year prior.