Ads spend likely to fall slightly this year
New year, new advertising forecasts, and the news is not exactly catastrophic, but not particularly amazing for Irish media.
Accenture Media Management Ireland says advertising spending is likely to decline – albeit modestly – for a fifth consecutive year, after a harsher-than-expected year in 2012.
Among its predictions are that there will be only modest increases in the prices media groups can charge for online display advertising.
“Most agencies are conservatively optimistic for 2013 but a mood of caution prevails amongst advertisers,” says Accenture’s Grace Gallagher. “We predict that media investment will fall by another 1 per cent in 2013, compared with 5 per cent in 2012 and it will be 2014 before we see any return to overall growth,” she says.
“Modest increases anticipated by some at the start of the year failed to materialise, particularly in the second half of the year as any confidence in an improvement in market conditions dissipated.”
Marketers either cut their budgets towards the end of 2012 to lock in profits or switched their spending to in-store promotional activity.
Both television and print revenues were down 10 per cent over the year, with the radio market declining 8 per cent and outdoor down 7 per cent, according to Accenture.
A stable 2013 – with the consulting firm’s forecasts ranging from 1 per cent revenue declines for print and radio to a flat television market and 1 per cent growth in outdoor – is the best “traditional” channels can look forward to, Accenture suggests.
Digital media advertising will grow by 14 per cent as the migration from “traditional” media to digital continues. If correct, this would mark a slight deceleration on the growth of 16 per cent in 2012.
Gallagher also uses what online media publishers may see as the magic words – “cost-per-click inflation” – in ad prices. Unfortunately for them, she sees such inflation in search advertising rather than display ads where publishers compete.
Display prices will be driven down by higher inventory and growth in real-time bidding. “As a result, overall digital inflation will be relatively stable at 3-4 per cent.”
Meanwhile, Davy Research believes the outlook is “extremely uncertain” for advertising. “Visibility is poor; booking times are short; and there is significant volatility in spend from week to week,” Davy analyst Simon McGrotty notes. “The extent to which the slowdown in the second half of 2012 translates into 2013 will become clear during the first quarter.”