GroupM, the WPP-owned media investment company, has downgraded its global ad spend forecast for both this year and next due to the effects of a recent appreciation of the dollar, a flagging auto industry and flat lining markets for both consumer packaged goods and traditional media.
This confluence of events has brought down 2018 growth expectations from 4.5 to 4.3% while 2019 growth has also been shaved downwards from 3.9 to 3.6%, bringing total new investment over the period down from $23bn to just $19bn.
Outlining the rationale behind his declining optimism Futures director Adam Smith wrote: “GroupM’s still strong but slightly fraying 2018 view ties to macro questions: tighter money, China’s slowing growth, and the potential for pricey trade wars. Real interest rates are edging up globally, but serious potential problems remain limited to a fragile five -- Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and Venezuela.”
Drilling down to country level Smith praised a ‘resilient’ UK which has thus far shrugged off political uncertainty to maintain buoyant investment in advertising, thanks in large part to digitization, maintaining its position as the fifth strongest global market behind China, the US, India and Japan.
China remains the single largest contributor to global growth with a majority of global CMOs set to increase spend in the country next year.
The shifting mood is documented in This Year, Next Year; GroupM’s biannual report on global media investment trends.