Digital media the only winner from Covid says Zenith

Publicis Groupe’s Zenith has produced its revised forecast for the global ad market this coronavirus year and it is: adspend drops by 9.1% (5.5% recovery forecast for 2021) with digital taking more than half the market for the first time (51% this year, 55% next.)

By region, US adspend is expected to perform best, down “just” 7% this year; Asia down 8%, Western Europe (where advertisers ran for cover in Q2) down 15%, Central and Eastern Europe down 13% and Latin America 20%.

All traditional media will suffer with Out of Home (below) and cinema (the two hardest hit by the virus) recovering more strongly than the rest in 2021 but not reaching 2019 peaks until 2022.

Zenith head of forecasting Jonathan Barnard says: “The coronavirus forced brands to embrace digital advertising even faster than expected and made digital transformation of businesses more urgent than ever.

“This year will be the first in which digital advertising will attract more than half of total global adspend, a milestone we previously expected in 2021.”

None of this is especially surprising but probably just about on the button. Some analysts say digital already has over half the market, the only question being how far will it go.

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About Stephen Foster

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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.

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