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AdLand Growth Slower Than Expected
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Financial reports and industry reviews are coming out, and most are bringing bittersweet news.

Advertising can be likened to a leading indicator; if businesses are spending more on advertising, then the economy overall may signal improvement. News from the big holding companies has been across the board. Publicis saw its profits in the first half of 2013 rise 15%, with 5% real growth; Omnicom posted a 2.3% rise in profit in the last quarter; and IPG struggled, with revenue down 18% in the last quarter, though it managed to grow its profits by a little. IPG is facing some tough times in Europe, with ad spending, according to Nielsen's report, dropping 4.4% on the continent.

Nielsen's Global AdView Pulse report found that since the first quarter of 2012, global ad spending increased by 1.9%.

It's not bad, but previous reports and industry expectations were looking at faster, more positive strides towards economic stability.

Europe and some spots in the Middle East (Egypt, specifically) are facing some challenging economic times. The report and others project that Europe won't bounce back from its woes for a while, so it seems advertising will continue to decline in that region. As for Egypt, one of the biggest Middle East markets, it may not turn its 20% ad spend decline around until the political realm finds its footing.

So what's the takeaway? According to Nielsen's report, the most growth will be found in Latin America and Asia Pacific. We know already that WPP has made a commitment to aggressive growth in China in 2013, and we have seen articles about Ogilvy and other big firms expanding in Latin America. Though there was no growth in North America, there wasn't any decline, either. It will be interesting to see how businesses continue to dissect the North American markets.

Although the ultimate boss is the consumer, these shops and companies also have to answer to their shareholders. And whether or not it's realistic, they want to see some sort of growth. What will AdLand do to get the expected growth? We'll have to wait and see.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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