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Strong world economy delivers exceptional adspend rise

LONDON - Global advertising spend looks set to hit $370bn (£190.4bn) for the year, beating forecasts to grow by 6.9%, according to the latest figures by ZenithOptimedia, which described 2004 as an 'exceptional' year for advertising expenditure.

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While it was widely predicting that advertising would see strong growth, bolstered by the Olympic Games and the US Presidential elections, the figure of almost 7% is well ahead of global economic growth of 4.7%.

ZenithOptimedia's figures show that Europe rose by 5.4% for 2004 to record adspend of $94.4bn, and that this figure is set to rise by another 4.5% in 2005.

Jonathan Barnard, knowledge management manager at ZenithOptimedia, attributed the stronger-than-predicted growth in adspend to the world economy performing better than expected.

"There were risks that a lot of people were worrying about at the beginning of the year, such as the potential overheating of the Chinese economy and security threats, but these haven't dampened the world economy in the way that people feared," he said.

The Publicis Groupe-owned media buying agency said Europe still lagged behind the rest of the world in terms of advertising growth, with North America seeing growth of 6% for the year, to spend $167.9bn; Latin America growing by 11.7% to $15.9bn; and Africa and the Middle East up by 15.1% to $16bn.

For the Asia-Pacific region, advertising growth in 2004 rose by 8.5% to $75.6bn, with ZenithOptimedia predicting that it will have a bigger advertising market than Europe within 10 years.

The Chinese advertising market is currently worth $9bn, the same as Italy, and is set to become the third-largest advertising market after the US and Japan by 2011, ZenithOptimedia has said.

ZenithOptimedia's figures take into account press, television, radio, cinema, outdoor and internet advertising. It predicts that internet advertising, which currently has a 3.6% market share, will overtake outdoor by the end of the decade.

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