2012 closed out on a positive note for the ad industry: globally, ad spend increased 3.2 percent year-over-year to $557 billion. A strong third quarter, which saw growth of 4.3 percent, helped drive the annual uptick. Ad spend growth then receded to a more modest 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
All regions except Europe increased their ad spending in 2012. The Middle East/African market showed impressive growth of 14.6 percent for the year as the region’s economy stabilized. Egypt was part of that turnaround, registering a 20.4 percent increase in spending. Meanwhile, deep cuts to ad budgets continued in Europe, fueling a 5.3 percent decrease for the final quarter, yielding an annual decrease of 4.2 percent. Even economic powerhouse Germany reported a 1 percent dip in the fourth quarter, the second consecutive quarter the country reported a decline in advertising spend.
Disagreement about the necessary financial path for the U.S. economy has had an impact and resulted in self-imposed government cuts. It remains to be seen what effect this will have on an advertising market that benefitted from the U.S. presidential election in the second half of 2012.
Europe's struggles will likely continue, and we have yet to see what impact, if any, the uncertainty caused by the Italian election results will have on the ad market in this region. We will examine the impact in the next issue of AdView Pulse.