North American ad sales growth lags world totals

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Global ad spend recap, forecast reflect U.S. mortgage doldrums

ZenithOptima, a division of the global advertising firm Publicis Group, has released a free summary of a global advertising report that reveals many of the same trends apparent in the United States — the rapid loss of ad sales by newspapers and radio; a mild uptick in television and outdoor ad spending; and continuing strong growth of Internet advertising (click here to read) summary.

I chose one of the charts (see above) and ran it through a spreadsheet to see the comparative growth rates, historical and projected. The percentages shown on the right are from my calculations.

As would be expected North American, the largest market, grows the slowest, versus the emerging advertising frontiers in Central Europe or Africa, the Middle East and ROW (rest of world?). Of course there may be issues with the water in some of these rapidly-growing geographies.

One of the reasons I parked this number here is that at some future date I want to figure out whether global ad spending matches the ratio I have previously computed  for the U.S., of roughly 2.2 cents of advertising for every dollar of Gross Domestic Product. I just don’t have world GDP handy and don’t have time to look for it today.

Meanwhile, if you have another moment to spare, this Economist article solved one mystery about Internet advertising, only to create another. The piece, “Many ways to skin a cat,” explains why previous Web advertising metrics such as hits and page views are passee as measures of effectiveness (hits inflated activity because every graphic registered; page views had been a better choice but the AJAX technology of Web 2.0 weaken it as a measure).

The article goes on to talk about new measures in the works, such as time spent with media, and it struck me that the Internet ad sellers have no firmer idea of the effectiveness of their message delivery than their mass media predecessors. They simply have more meaningless metrics in their sales kits because everything is trackable on the Web. That doesn’t mean the numbers reveal any useful trtend. But if you are an ad buyer at a major brand those numbers must tell you that nobody gets fired, nowadays, for moving a larger share of their budget to the Internet.