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GROUPM REPORTS 4.5% RISE IN GLOBAL AD SPEND IN 2014

• Global ad spend rising 4.5% to $534bn in 2014 • Further 5% rise to $560bn predicted for 2015 • Slow global ad recovery now in fifth year: on track to match 2007 high point next year • Asia, Latin America, MidEast and Africa pull global advertising back over the line while the older industrialised world continues to lag

London, New York, Singapore, 14 August 2014: GroupM, the media investment management arm of WPP, has released the latest This Year Next Year global advertising investment forecast showing spend reaching $534 billion in 2014, a 4.5% increase over 2013. It predicts 2015 rising a further 5.0% to $560 billion - finally exceeding the pre-crisis peak of 2007/8 in real terms.

Globally, ad recovery is in fact localized, with 17 markets accounting for 93% of expected ad growth in 2014. Even at its moderate 3.4% rate of ad investment growth this year to $162 billion, the United States contributes fully one-quarter of incremental ad dollars. China ranks second as it climbs a predicted 9.8% to $76 billion. Other countries making the cut include Nigeria, Kenya and Vietnam.

Dominic Proctor, President of GroupM Global, said: 'Many companies are still operating with very strong balance sheets. Coupled with a rising general confidence and a specific comfort around digital marketing, though notwithstanding some geo-political uncertainty, we are seeing an uplift in some of the ‘older economies’ as well as the new.'

GroupM Media Spend Forecast_TYNYJuly 2014

Of marketplace performance, This Year, Next Year report editor Adam Smith stated: 'Despite the slowdown in China's general economy from 2012, its consumer economy continues to expand. This, plus intensive digitisation of advertising, keeps China ad investment rising at or near double-digits, with no large print legacy to correct.'

It is a different story in Western Europe, where 73% of the regional economy is in the Eurozone, in which demand remains suppressed by debt, internal imbalances and deflationary politics. In real terms, the Eurozone remains 20% below its 2007 advertising peak, and the hardest-hit 'periphery' of Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal, 47% below the peak.

Smith added: 'Western Europe, however, is the most-digitised ad region in the world; though this may finally be maturing to judge by digital ad investment growth slowing from double- to high-single digits in 2014 and 2015.'

Western Europe also has the world's most print-heavy advertising, though here, too, the downward adjustments to annual advertising investment are moderating from double-  to mid-single-digits in 2014 and 2015.     

Elsewhere, GroupM notes that some members of its south-east Asia group (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam) face political and economic challenges, and this year will collectively slip from double- to mid-single digit ad growth.

'This group will still contribute to the global ad recovery, but we are on alert for central banks ‘tightening into the downturn’ if inflation becomes a problem,' added Smith.

India, Brazil and Russia remain among the faster-growing ad markets, though GroupM warns that its reduced Russia forecast – from an annual run-rate of 10% to 6% -- depends on no worsening in domestic affairs.

Chart: Top Sources of Media Growth TYNYReport July 2014

This Year, Next Year, is part of GroupM's media and marketing forecasting series drawn from data supplied by holding company WPP's worldwide resources in advertising, public relations, market research, and specialist communications.

The full report is available for purchase from the publications section of the GroupM website.

MEDIA CONTACT:  
Cindy Kerber Spellman, GroupM
Office: +1-314-682-2055
Email: cindy.spellman@groupm.com  

REPORTS EDITOR:
Adam Smith, Futures Director                                    
Office: +44 20 79 69 40 83
Email: Adam.smith@groupm.com

About GroupM
GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. We serve as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare.  Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.