Posted December 9, 2009 1:14 am by with 0 comments

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DollarsWhile it is important to try to see what lies ahead in the advertising industry it is also important to watch exactly who is reading the tea leaves. On Tuesday some of the heavy hitter from the agency world predicted slight increases in spending on advertising in 2010 and did not see returns to 2007 levels until as late as 2012 (an election year, hmmmmm).

The New York Times reports on the meeting that these predictions were unveiled.

The predictions were made during a panel event at the second day of the 37th Global Media and Communications Conference, sponsored by UBS. The conference, in Midtown Manhattan, typically assembles executives from media agencies to offer forecasts for ad spending in the year — and years — ahead.

In ascending order, the forecasts for 2010 compared with 2009 call for an increase of 0.8 percent, from the GroupM unit of WPP; 0.9 percent, from the ZenithOptimedia division of the Publicis Groupe; and 5.9 percent, from the Magna unit of Mediabrands, a division of the Interpublic Group of Companies. (A forecast from UBS, offered during the panel discussion, was for an increase of 3.9 percent.)

Not exactly robust growth but at least there may be a halt put on the skid that advertising spending in traditional mediums has seen. Wait, did I just say traditional? Yes, I did and what was said by these ‘experts’ as it relates to the other side of advertising, you know that Internet marketing and social media piece we talk about from time to time?

Adam Smith said GroupM was encountering difficulty in measuring the ad spending in new outlets like Facebook, which could eventually affect the accuracy of the forecasts.

“We may adjust for it next year,” Mr. Smith said, to acknowledge the increasing role such media are playing.

May adjust for it? Could affect the accuracy of the forecasts? So in other words, this kind of ‘advertising’ is almost viewed as a nuisance or afterthought to these traditional agencies, I suppose. They don’t even appear to fully recognize the online space. Nothing was said specifically about search marketing or any other online advertising either.

Do you find it curious that the advertising ‘industry’ seems to still be disconnected from where advertising is moving? What are your thoughts about traditional agencies from Madison Avenue to Main Street that still clump online under the interactive tab on their site and say they perform these functions but then don’t even consider them in the grand scheme of advertising?