Global ad spending rises 4.3 per cent in third quarter of 2012 despite Europe problems

Recession, what recession?

The global advertising market saw healthy growth during the third quarter of 2012, according to Nielsen’s quarterly Global AdView Pulse report. Spending was up 4.3 per cent over Q3 2011, to $139 billion. This gain outpaced the 2.7 per cent growth seen in the first half of 2012.

Strong areas were the Middle East and Africa (up 18.9 per cent over the first three quarters), as well as in North America. The North American market showed a five per cent increase through September, bolstered by an impressive 10.2 per cent increase during Q3. In North America, both the automotive and industry and services categories increased by double digits year-over-year, for both the year-to-date and Q3. The industry and services category includes political ads, a big spend area leading up to the US presidential election.

“Growth in global ad spend accelerated in Q3. The Olympics, a major media event in all parts of the world, and the US presidential election helped drive investment up,” says Randall Beard (left), global head, advertiser solutions for Nielsen. “We’ll be watching carefully to see if the growth was sustained in Q4 and into 2013, or if there’s a dip in comparison to this year.”

Ad spend also grew in the Asia Pacific region, reporting a 2.7 per cent increase in ad spend for the year-to-date through September and a 3.5 per cent increase for Q3. Ad spend for the region was supported by the recovery of China’s advertising market, which showed positive ad-spending trends in Q3 (up 3.1 per cent) after two consecutive quarters of decline.

Western Europe, which reported a 2.7 per cent decrease in year-over-year ad spending during the first half of 2012, saw deeper Q3 cuts in advertising (-4.8 per cent), as advertisers watched their budgets carefully due to ongoing economic instability. This decline contributed to a year-to-date decrease of 3.4 per cent in Europe.

Q3, July to September, seems a long time ago now but the world’s stock markets, which rose strongly in the last quarter of 2012 and into 2013, seem to indicate that some kind of recovery is going on.

Even the disaster area of Western Europe, which held back global growth according to these figures, is showing some tentative signs of recovery into 2013.

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