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Adspend in Iran set to reach US$2.1m by 2020, according to a new report by Zenith


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

January 22, 2018 | 4 min read

Iran will add more advertising dollars than any other country over the next three years, with adspend in the Western Asian country set to grow by US $713 million between 2017 and 2020, to reach US $2.117m.


Tehran, Iran.

This is according to Zenith’s ‘Thirty Rising Media Markets’ report, which identified 30 up-and-coming advertising markets that are developing quickly and are starting to rival the scale of some of the established 81 markets.

The report found the lifting of international sanctions in January 2016 kick-started Iran’s economic growth and began its reintegration into the global economy, providing a powerful stimulus to the local advertising market. However, it warned this stimulus depends on continued growth in trade and investment, and is subject to political risk as reimposition of sanctions would bring growth to a halt.

The second-biggest growth in adspend will come from Bangladesh, according to the report, which is set to grow by US $457m between 2017 and 2020, reaching US $1.311m. Bangladesh’s economy is growing at a healthy 7% a year, and with over 160 million inhabitants it is achieving substantial scale. By 2020, Bangladesh’s ad market will be more than twice the size of Pakistan’s, although Bangladesh has only 80% of Pakistan’s population.

According to Zenith, some of the 30 rising markets have already attracted interest from multinational advertisers and global agency groups, and others are opening up to international advertising for the first time. They vary widely in population, diversity of economic activities and productivity, but their economies are all growing rapidly, in the long run at least, and their advertising markets are growing even faster.

Advertising expenditure in these 30 markets surveyed, totalled US $9.7bn in 2017, 12.7% more than in 2016, while the global ad market as a whole grew by 4.0%. Over the next three years, the report expects them to grow at an average rate of 12.4%, three times faster than the world average growth rate of 4.1%.

By 2020, the report also forecast that they will generate a total of US $13.8bn in advertising expenditure, having grown by US $4.1bn since 2017. 29% of this growth will come from Iran and Bangladesh.

In percentage terms, the fastest-growing markets are in Africa and South Asia as average annual growth in Angola is forecast to hit 19%, 18% in Myanmar and Ethiopia and 15% annual growth in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ghana and Iran.

“These thirty rising ad markets may be small now, but they are rapidly becoming richer with fast-growing demand for consumer goods”, said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president. “They have great potential for brand growth for early entrants, which have the opportunity to establish their brands with relatively little competition.”

The other countries included in this report are Algeria, Angola, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kenya, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Paraguay, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.

The Publicis-owned media agency released its adspend forecasts for 2018 last month, which predicted that the Internet will account for 94% growth in adspend between 2017 and 2020.

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