Ad Spend Growth Slow But It’s There

Everyone in the advertising and marketing world would love to see everything get back to the halcyon days of ad spending like there was no tomorrow which seemed to exist prior to our current economic climate. Well, it’s OK to dream but if that dream interferes with the reality of a situation then you have trouble. A recent report on ad spending into the future produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and reported by the New York Times Media Decoder blog gives some insight into what may be the real situation.

Advertising spending in the United States will not begin to grow again until next year, according to an annual forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The 11th annual entertainment and media outlook report, to be released on Tuesday morning, predicts that ad spending will fall 0.5 percent this year compared with last year.

That is a marked improvement from 2009, when ad spending fell 15.2 percent from 2008, according to the report, but the trend would still going in the wrong direction from the perspective of Madison Avenue.

Although ad spending will increase in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, the report forecasts, the total in 2014 will still be 9 percent less than it was in 2007.

This report is for overall ad spending so the silver lining for the Internet marketing crowd comes in the prediction that by 2014 the spending levels will exceed that of 2009. This prediction includes Internet, television and radio. While it is not much to be excited about considering the years or seemingly limitless growth (it was a new medium after all which we tend to ignore), it is still better than newspapers, magazines and directories which are not predicted to get back to 2009 spending levels even by 2014.

So while this is not exactly the kind of news you really can get excited about maybe it’s the kind of news we should expect more often. Gone are the days of hyped up numbers that lead to irrational expectations by the industry as a whole. Maybe being firmly based in reality will be a welcome change. Of course, we can’t let the social media crowd know that because then that would rain on their current parade of hype that continues to spread.

So while it is interesting for a group as powerful and respected as PWC to look into their crystal ball it by no means is definitely going to play out this way. In fact, we find here at Marketing Pilgrim that some of the best measures of what is really going on can be given by our readers who are in the trenches and doing this work day in and day out.

So what are you seeing? Is there a “rebound” in overall advertising spend? Do you think the Internet sector will rebound more quickly? If so, what will drive the growth?

Let us hear your take on this.