Another forecast sees 2009 online ads slowing to a crawl

Publicis’ ZenithOptimedia says UK online ad spend will grow just 2.3% in 2009. We had gotten used to seeing annual online growth of around 40% 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% growth for online.

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

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

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

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