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Credit crunch prompts downgrade of adspend forecast

LONDON - The effects of the credit crunch have caused ZenithOptimedia to downgrade its 2008 forecast for adspend growth in Europe and North America from 4.4% to 3.8%, but it predicts emerging markets in the East will go from strength to strength.

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According to the media agency's first expenditure report of 2008, the slowdown in the West contrasts with the rest of the world, which it has upgraded to a growth rate of 11.1%.

Overall growth for the global advertising industry in 2008 has been adjusted down from 6.7% to 6.5%, with spend expected to hit $494.9bn (£249.1bn) by the end of the year. However, the figure outstrips the 5% average rate at which the global industry has grown over the last 10 years.

The report also reckons that the emerging markets in Asia Pacific will overtake their counterparts in Western Europe in 2010. In 2007, ad spend in the region was $98.8bn. This year it will reach nearly $107bn and in 2010 will account for $122.5bn of advertising budgets.

In Western Europe, 2008 ad spend is expected to hit the $112.6bn mark and reach $122.2bn in 2010.

Of the top 10 contributors to growth in global ad expenditure between 2007 and 2010, Russia comes top -- it is expected to grow by 92% over the period. It is followed by China (61.5%), the Middle East (54.2%), India (52.2%), Brazil (46.6%) and South Africa (45.8%).

In terms of where advertisers are expected to spend their money, unsurprisingly, digital media is expected to reap the benefits -- the report reveals that internet spend will continue to grow and will account for 9.7% of world ad expenditure this year and 12.3% in 2010.

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