Forecast: National Newspaper Advertising Is Bouncing Back


By Mark Sweney: ZenithOptimedia has more than doubled its original forecast for growth in the UK ad economy this year to almost 3%, with national newspaper advertising now predicted to show growth for the first time in three years.

The media-buying network, which in April forecast UK advertising would grow by 1.3%, said that it had upgraded its global growth forecast from 2.2% to 3.5%, thanks to a first six months that was much stronger than expected, especially in Western Europe and the US.

The media agency said that in the UK the upgrade was heavily influenced by a large positive revision for the newspaper advertising market, with national press advertising up 9.5% year on year in the first five months.

In April Zenith forecast that the total newspaper ad market to be down 5%, with national advertising flat and regional advertising down 10%. Today’s upgrade puts total newspaper advertising at 1.9% down year on year, with national advertising expected to be up 2.6% and regional advertising down 6%. It is the first time since 2007 that national newspaper advertising has shown any significant year-on-year growth.

“The largest revision [upward] we made to any media sector was to newspapers,” said Jonathan Barnard, head of publications at ZenithOptimedia. “The first five months have been pretty positive for print. Newspapers have spent a lot of time marketing themselves, such as the Sun during the World Cup, which has held up circulation. However the second half of the year does not look as strong for the newspaper advertising sector.”

ZenithOptimedia’s UK forecast puts TV advertising up 7% year on year, radio down 2%, outdoor advertising up 9.8% and internet advertising up 4.6%.

Looking ahead at the TV ad market, Zenith said that while the market looked likely to perform strongly through to the end of August, “from September onwards the outlook is unclear, especially the impact of the recent budget on advertising revenues”.

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..

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