The first quarter of 2010 might seem a long time ago now but Nielsen, the biggest market research outfit in the world, is claiming that global ad expenditure rose by a perpendicular 12.5 per cent in the period – which should lead to drinks all round.
But it also admits that its computations are based on companies paying rate card for media, which probably last happened some time in the late 1950s before media departments were invented.
It also offers the caveat that these figures include the Vancouver Winter Olympics and some of the run-up to the World Cup in South Africa.
For what it’s worth the figures show that ad expenditure increased by eight per cent in the UK (which will be news to most practitioners), 11 per cent in France and just four per cent in the US, which we all thought had done rather well.
And 48 per cent in go-go Latin America.
Most of these figures come from a spectacularly low base in 2009 of course.
Well there are lies, damned lies and statistics.
When all the politicos and other economic pundits have been been telling us we’re all going to hell in a handcart (the traditional British way of escorting condemned prisoners to the gallows at Tyburn, now Marble Arch) let’s hope Nielsen defied the above unholy trinity and got it roughly right.