Global adspend continues to grow, as fast-growing markets in Central & Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America play an ever more important role on the global stage.

We estimate that global advertising expenditure grew 4.5% in 2018, boosted by the Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup and US mid-term elections. We forecast growth to remain steady and positive for the next three years, at 4.0% in 2019, 4.2% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021.

Central & Eastern Europe will be the fastest-growing region, with average growth of 6.3% a year between 2018 and 2021, driven by continued strength in Russia, which is growing at 6.8% a year and accounts for 39% of the regional total. Asia Pacific is next, growing at an average of 4.9% a year, or 5.7% a year excluding Japan.

We forecast just 1.7% growth in Latin American adspend in 2019 as the Argentine peso continues to lose value, but predict an average growth rate of 4.1% a year to 2021. North America and Western Europe are both growing at about 3% a year.

The Middle East and North Africa is the clear underperformer, with an average annual decline of 1.2% forecast to 2021. However, MENA is starting to recover from the deep advertising recession caused by the drop in oil prices, political turmoil and conflict. We forecast a 4.9% drop in adspend in MENA in 2019, down from 11.6% in 2019, before the market stabilises at 0.4% growth in 2020 and then grows by 1.0% in 2021, which would be MENA’s first substantial growth since 2014.

India is a stand-out growth market. We forecast it to grow at 13.5% a year on average, from US$9.7bn in 2018 to US$14.2bn in 2021, when it will become the world’s eighth largest advertising market, entering the top ten for the first time. India has huge potential for further growth, with advertising taking up just 0.3% of GDP, less than half the Asia Pacific average of 0.7%

Young advertising markets like India are playing an ever- more-important role in driving global growth in adspend. ‘Mature’ markets – by which we mean North America, Western Europe and Japan – account for 62% of global adspend this year, down from 75% ten years ago. ‘Rising’ markets – by which we mean all markets apart from the ‘Mature’ ones – will contribute 54% of the growth in global adspend between 2018 and 2021, increasing their share of global expenditure from 38% to 40%.


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