UK ad market to be overtaken by China in 2009

THE UK looks set to lose its position as the fourth-largest advertising market, according to experts at ZenithOptimedia who significantly downgraded UK advertising spend forecasts yesterday.<br /><br />Publicis-owned ZenithOptimedia estimated that UK ad spend will decline by 10.5 per cent to &pound;11bn in 2009 &ndash; having predicted a decline of 8.7 per cent just three months ago.<br /><br />&ldquo;We forecast China to grow 5.4 per cent this year, overtaking the UK to become the world&rsquo;s fourth-largest ad market,&rdquo; the report said.<br /><br />The media buying group also said it expects a 1.4 per cent decline &pound;10.65bn in 2010, a reversal on its previous forecast of a rise of 2.3 per cent. However, on a global basis, ZenithOptimedia said the downturn is approaching its lowest point and, after a fall of 8.5 per cent to $456.5bn (&pound;278.58bn) in 2009, the industry should see a mild recovery in 2010, driven by the Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup and US midterm elections.