Internet ad spend to surpass TV for the first time in 2017 despite brand safety crisis, report suggests

Internet advertising spend is expected to surpass that of TV for the first time in 2017, highlighting the urgency with which Google must properly address advertisers concerns over brand safety to allow for secure sustainable growth.

Zenith Media’s new Advertising Expenditure Forecasts report has predicted that global internet advertising expenditure will grow 13% to reach £163bn ($205bn) in 2017.

The tipping of the scales from television to online comes as internet advertising is predicted to attract 36.9% of all ad spend this year, up from 34% in 2016.

According to the report, the fastest growing component of internet ad spend will be social media, which will grow at an average rate of 20% a year to 2019 when it will hit £43.8bn ($55bn).

Such growth could be jeopardised though if the crisis of confidence in Google continues to drag on. Several of the world’s biggest advertisers, including Havas Group UK, L’Oréal, AT&T and Verizon have all recently halted advertising on YouTube in response to concerns over ad misplacement and brand safety.

The internet giant announced a three-pronged approach to addressing the problem and met with many of the industry’s biggest spending advertisers at Ad Week Europe last week to try resolve the crisis.

Despite the ongoing issues Zenith’s global brand president, Vittorio Bonori, remains confident of continued growth.

“Internet advertising has contributed all of the growth in global ad spend since the beginning of the decade, and has stimulated much of the innovation we’ve seen in the market,” said Bonori. “Innovation is proceeding as fast as ever, and we believe that this is what will continue to drive brand growth for advertisers.”

The report also predicts that the global ad market will continue to grow at a rate of 4-5% a year through to 2019.