Forecast: Ad Spend Will Hit Bottom In ’09 As Paid Search Lights The Way

Global online advertising spend is the only category ZenithOptimedia reckons is growing this year, according to its latest forecast. The agency (via Reuters) says it will grow 10.1 percent for 2009 and, longer term, will rise from 2008’s 10.5 percent of all ad spend to 15.1 percent in 2011.

Thank paid search – it’s due to grow 20 percent in the U.S. this year against just three percent for conventional display and 1.8 percent for classifieds. And pity newspapers, which are projected to lose 14.7 percent.

Industry-wide, Zenith expects an 8.5 percent drop in all-format ad sales in 2009 (revised down from an earlier projection of a 6.9 percent drop), but returning to a 1.6 percent growth for 2010. Both figures contrast with GroupM’s forecast last month, which expects 5.5 percent 2009 decline and 2010 not yet in positive territory with a 1.4 percent drop. And Zenith’s And don’t expect that sudden growth to manifest at home – North America specifically is expected to post a third consecutive fall in ad spend, dropping 2.4 percent in 2010.