Zenith: U.S. Ad Market Even Worse Than We Thought Three Months Ago

Zenith Optimedia dropped its U.S. ad forecast — again — and in the WSJ, research head Bruce Goerlich sums up why: “It’s like a slow-leaking balloon. We are not seeing dramatic cuts; marketers are just being cautious.”

The Publicis Groupe-owned media firm is ratcheting back back its 2008 ad forecast for the second time in three months. Zenith is now projecting 3.4% U.S. advertising growth in 2008 — down from its last prediction of 3.7% in March and from a forecast of 4.1% in December.

What changed? Goerlich says he expected softness in automotive, real estate and financial services, but some unexpected categories, such as cosmetics, are also softening.

It’s been a tough year for those in the business of making ad forecasts. Here’s a rundown of some other recent downgrades:

  • May 30: Lehman drops 2008 U.S. online ad forecast from 24% growth to 23%
  • March 19: eMarketer cuts its 2008 online ad forecast 6%
  • September 14: Oppenheimer cuts 2008 U.S. online ad estimate 26% growth to 25%

Silver lining? Zenith didn’t cut its estimate for online advertising, still expecting 26.7% growth in 2008.

See Also:
Another Bank Drops Internet Advertising Forecast, A Bit
Procter & Gamble, et al, Changing The Way They Buy Ads, “Wreaking Havoc” With Big Media
GroupM: Online, Mobile, Gaming To Get 15% Of Global Ad Spending In 2009

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