Web Ads Growth To Be Fraction Of Earlier Forecast, GroupM Warns

Remember the good ‘ol days of ’07, when web ad spend was growing by more than 20 percent every six months? Those days are gone. WPP’s GroupM ad buying agency has revised down its 2009 forecast for UK online ad spend, from 20 percent to just four percent. At least it’s still growing at all – overall UK ad spend will decline by six percent, more than any other developed country, Guardian.co.uk reports.

Specifically, national newspapers will pull 12 percent less money from ads, the regionals 13 percent and even B2B magazines, which usually profess their resilience, a worrying 14 percent. TV ads’ decline of six percent is slim in comparison with print’s contraction, with radio ads down eight percent and consumer magazines 8.5 percent.

GroupM had expected 2008 UK ad spend to grow four percent – in fact, it now expects a decline of three percent. Without the bolster from online’s albeit slower growth, traditional media ads would be down 10 percent this year and nine percent next.