Global ad spend up 10.6pc to US$503bn in 2010 – Nielsen

World Cup spending, a strong performance in Asia Pacific and growth in emerging consumer regions helped the ad industry globally to come out of recession in 2010 and post an impressive 10.6pc year-on-year increase to US$503bn, according to The Nielsen Company.

“2010 was the year of recovery for the advertising industry,” said Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions for The Nielsen Company. “All global regions and every traditional medium (television, radio, newspapers and magazines) recorded a positive turnaround with highest percentage ad spend increases coming from Middle East/Africa and Latin America, which rose 26.7pc and 21.2pc respectively. Overall 23 out of 37 global markets posted double-digit ad growth last year in a clear indication that advertisers regained confidence to spend again after a weak 2009 where every region except for Asia Pacific posted declines.”

The figures are based on published rate cards from Nielsen’s Global AdView Pulse report.

Nielsen said two of the hardest hit sectors during the global downturn, automotive and finance, increased ad spend by 20.3pc and 17.9pc respectively. Six automotive companies were among the top 20 global advertisers in 2010.

Ad spend for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), ,meanwhile, increased 14.6pc in 2010 and the sector’s share of ad spend was up from 23.9pc to 24.9pc. FMCG spend in Middle East/Africa increased by 34.3pc, Latin America (+23.9pc) and Asia Pacific (+16pc).

“Fast moving consumer goods and emerging markets will continue to lead global advertising trends,” said Beard. “One in every four ad dollars spent last year was on fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and the focus remains firmly on key developing regions.”

According to Nielsen, all traditional advertising media types showed increases in 2010, particularly television which rebounded 13.1pc and increased to 62pc of all ad spend share, the highest on record and up from 60.6pc the previous year.

Radio advertising rose 8.5pc, followed by newspapers (+7pc). Magazines recorded the slowest growth of all media types at 4.9pc globally, and only posted double-digit growth of 14.9pc in Latin America. Emerging markets with their younger populations, increasing disposable incomes and hungry consumption appetites attracted advertisers to new booming markets in Egypt (+40.8pc), Pan-Arab (+43pc) and Argentina (+38.9pc), which recorded the highest percentage advertising increases.

Nielsen noted that the US, the world’s largest advertising market, had one of the slowest growth rates of 5.6pc year-on-year, but is back in positive territory after advertising expenditure dropped 9pc in 2009. It said the only market to experience a decline in advertising in 2010 was the United Arab Emirates (-4.4pc) while advertising remained flat in economically battered markets of Japan (+1.3pc) and Spain (+0.4pc).

In Asia Pacific, nine out of 13 markets enjoyed double-digit growth compared with the previous year, with strongest rebounds from India (+28.1pc) and Taiwan (+19.1pc). China, the world’s second largest ad market, which accounts for half of Asia Pacific’s total ad spend, gained more of the region’s total ad expenditure in 2010 at 51.4pc, up from 51pc in 2009, complementing a 10.9pc increase in ad expenditure for the market.

As well as having the second highest regional ad spend increase (+21.2pc) in 2010, Latin America benefited from the highest ad increases across the financial (+37.2pc), entertainment (+17.8pc), clothing/accessories (+22pc) and media (23.8pc) sectors.

In Europe, Belgium, France, Sweden, Switzerland and UK posted increases of approximately 10pc each. Advertising spend during 2010 peaked during the second quarter with the World Cup driving the highest year-on-year increases of almost 13pc.

“The 2010 FIFA World Cup brought the attention of hundreds of millions of soccer fans, and not surprisingly, advertisers followed with significant spending,” said Beard. “It presented an excellent opportunity for advertisers to jump back into the market, revitalising ad spend in multiple countries. Advertisers are already thinking about how they’ll capitalise on next year’s Olympic Games in London, which could prove to be as much an advertising event as it is a sporting event.”