Advertising industry optimism continues to grow

The advertising sector was given a boost today (22 April) after Publicis Groupe and the Advertising Association both predicted a better than expected 2010.

Maurice Lévy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe
Maurice Lévy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe

Publicis was bullish in its forecast for 2010 after it reported revenue rose 8.1% to €1.2bn (£1.1bn) in the first three months of the year.

Separately, the latest Advertising Association (AA) and Warc expenditure report forecast a “faster than expected” recovery this year for the UK advertising market, upgrading its prediction from 0.4% growth to 2.3%.

Publicis, which owns digital agency network RazorFish, Fallon and Saatchi & Saatchi, says that its focus on digital revenue streams will help it “reap the full benefits” of the global economic recovery. The group adds that revenue from digital activities grew more than 15% and now account for 27% of its total revenue.

Maurice Lévy, chairman and chief executive of Publicis Groupe, says the first quarter results “exceed even our most optimistic forecasts”.

“Without yielding to undue optimism, the year has started in a way that bodes well for a 2010 financial period that will be closer to our usual level of performance,” he adds.

The AA/Warc report predicts the UK advertising industry will grow “particularly strongly” in the second quarter of this year, driven by an expected upturn in television revenue because of the World Cup in June.

The past seven days have seen key players in the industry report an upturn in fortunes and cautious optimism for the coming year.

Omnicom Group, owner of the BBDO, DDB and TBWA agency networks, said yesterday (22 April) that revenue increased 6.3% in the first quarter of 2010, while the IPA/BDO Bellwether study recently reported the first upward revision of marketing budgets since 2007.

Havas, owner of Euro RSCG and Arena BLM, recently reported a 1.5% revenue increase for the first quarter.

Despite the upgrade for 2010, the AA/Warc report found that total advertising spend fell by 12% in 2009. Press advertising was hit hardest, down 23% on the previous year.

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