Starcom says Asia Pacific will overtake North America ad spend by 2016

Or maybe 2017. One sometimes feels forecasts of ad expenditure could be produced by a cat and a calculator but a new one from Starcom and emarketer is interesting.

It predicts global ad expenditure will rise from $465bn in 2009 to $564bn by 2014 (up by about a quarter) with Asia Pacific increasing its share from 27.6 per cent to 30.7 per cent. North America will fall from 37.1 to 33.8 and Western Europe from 23.1 to 21.1. Stretch this forward at the same rate and Asia Pacific will be the daddy in six or seven years time.

Perhaps more interesting is the projected growth in developing markets. Latin America is projected to increase from 5.5 (2009) to 6.6 (2014), which might seem a bit modest but it’s nearly a third the size of Western Europe by 2014, and Middle East and Africa from 2.7 to 3.5.

This is interesting, suggesting that marcoms groups and media owners had better start dusting off their pith helmets as the longstanding basket case of the global economy (or the Africa bit anyway) finally starts to take off, helped no end by investment from China and various sovereign wealth funds across the Middle East and Singapore.

As for North America, if the forecast is correct of course, it’s surprisingly resilient given the huge difference in population compared to Asia Pacific. And poor old Europe? Left behind of course but if you add in Eastern Europe’s 4.1 per cent (2014, up from four per cent) it will still account for a quarter of a steadily growing market.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.