Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 12:35 UK

Bleak prediction for advertising

Billboards in Kabul, Afghanistan
The forecast for advertising worldwide is a gloomy one

Worldwide advertising spending could fall by 6.9% this year to $453bn (£304bn), according to media agency Zenith Optimedia.

It put the decline down to the current economic problems, which it said had both hit corporate confidence and put consumers off making major buys.

The agency said newspapers would suffer most, with advertising revenues down 12%, as people turned to the internet.

The internet would be the only medium to attract higher advertising spending.

"Since we released our last forecasts in December the global ad market has taken a substantial turn for the worse," said Zenith Optimedia, whose own customers include British Airways, Hewlett Packard and Nestle.

It predicted that television would boost its proportion of advertising budgets to 38.6% from 38.1%, but the total spent on TV advertising would fall by 5.5%.

Zenith Optimedia also predicted that spending on internet advertising was set to rise 8.6% as shoppers hunt online bargains.

Earlier this month online monitoring firm Hitwise found that visits to classified advertising websites were booming, with visits to such sites in the US up 84% on the same time last year.

Newspapers have been particularly hit by the downturn, from smaller titles in the UK to large papers in the US.

In February, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation announced a $6.4bn quarterly loss, as falling advertising revenues forced it to cut $8.4bn from the value of assets.

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