Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Your Daily Dose of Dour: WPP, Publicis Cut Ad Predictions

Good morning. Long week ahead, so let’s keep this short and sweet: At least two giant ad agencies are predicting lousy results for the coming year, for all the obvious reasons. Best-case scenario is that they’re overestimating the damage, and next year’s media layoffs won’t be quite as bad as they could be. Worst-case…

ZenithOptimedia, the media-buying agency owned by ad giant Publicis Groupe, is lowering its 2009 forecast for North American ad spending. It figures spending will drop 5.7 percent in the North America (down 6.2 percent in the U.S.) next year; it had previously forecast an increase of 0.9 percent.

Meanwhile GroupM, the media-buying agency owned by ad giant WPP, says U.S. ad spending will decrease three percent next year.

Not coincidentally, executives from both companies will be presenting at the same 8 a.m. panel this morning at the UBS media conference, which kicks off today and runs through Wednesday. Ad giant Interpublic Group (IPG), which is also sending an emissary to said panel, will roll out its predictions at the event.

Fear not, MediaMemo readers: I will be there, and will dutifully report any glum prognostications. UPDATE: Here they are: IPG predicts U.S. ads down 4.5 percent.

UPDATE: A little more detail, courtesy MediaPost; full report now available here. Zenith predicts online advertising will increase 10 percent next year, down from 22 percent in 2008. It doesn’t have a breakdown of the spend, but safe to assume that search will take the lion’s share, which is great for Google (GOOG), and not much help to anyone else.

[Image Credit: sherlockonline]


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work