Another Forecast Sees ’09 Online Ads Slowing To A Crawl

Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia says UK online ad spend will grow just 2.3 percent in 2009. We had gotten used to seeing annual online growth of around 40 percent in the last couple of years but, if this projection rings true, it will contradict even the hubristic online execs who foresaw a continuing flood of money to online despite a downturn. Especially worrying – globally, Zenith sees 8.6 percent growth for online.

Still, the firm forecasts a UK internet recovery next year – 5.9 percent growth in 2010 and 12.9 percent in 2011 – and online, buoyed by search ads is still healthier than other media. TV will fall back 12 percent this year despite being considered most effective, radio and magazines by 10 percent and newspapers will be down a big 14.6 percent before sliding just 0.2 percent in 2011 and growing 1.3 percent in 2011.

IAB UK this month said annual UK online ad spend halved in 2008 to 17.1 percent (£540 million), and publishers themselves expect their ad income to halve in 2009, too.

Overall, ZenithOptimedia forecasts UK ad spend will fall 8.7 percent this year – faster than the five percent in France and Germany and the 6.9 percent global drop – but growing by 2.3 percent in 2010 and 4.5 percent in 2011. Reuters.