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The third quarter of 2011 was a volatile one for global economies, with Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the US’ AAA credit rating, and the worsening eurozone debt crisis. Global online consumer confidence fell for the seventh consecutive quarter according to the third quarter global online consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, with over half consumers surveyed saying that they are currently in a recession—up four percentage points from last quarter and seven points from the start of the year.
Against the backdrop of the very tumultuous start of 2011, however, the advertising market in the third quarter posted better year-on-year performance than both the first and second quarters. Advertising spend grew 9.6 percent during the third quarter—up from the 5.8 percent recorded in Q2, and 9.1 percent growth seen in Q1. When comparing the January to September period against the same period in 2010, ad spending grew by 8.1 percent.
Europe’s ad market, which posted a small decline in spending during the second quarter, rebounded slightly during Q3, posting flat spending of 0.3 percent despite the unfolding economic crisis. Though cautious spending still continues, the dramatic double-digit decreases seen in Greece, Spain, and Turkey during the second quarter were more tempered in the third, at -5.9 percent, -9.0 percent, and -9.2 percent respectively.
Major markets of France (+4.1%), Germany (+0.6%), and the UK (+1.1%) propped the market up with small increases in ad spend during the third quarter.
Year-to-date, Europe ended the first three quarters of 2011 with a 1.2 percent increase in spending. The ad markets in the Asia Pacific (+12.9%), Latin America (16.9%), and Middle East & Africa (15.7%) posted double-digit increases during Q3—all higher gains than experienced in Q2. The Middle East market, slammed hard by the impacts of the Arab Spring, rebounded strongly from the +2.2 percent growth seen in the second quarter.
All four major media types reported increases in ad spending during the third quarter, with Television as the dominant media type, reporting a 12.6 percent increase in spending for Q3, and a 10.8 percent increase year-to-date.
FMCG, a major contributor to advertising spend, still suffered from ad budget cuts in North America (-2.8%) and Europe (-4.9%), though it globally contributed 8.7 percent more ad spend in the third quarter of 2011 when compared with Q3 2010.
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