Barclays Predicts Ad Rebound, Easing Print Pain

By Steve Smith

In a striking spot of optimism, Barclays Capital adjusted its estimates of U.S. marketing spending for 2010 upward considerably from previous predictions. For magazines in particular, the analysts changed an earlier forecast of -10% growth to only -3%.

Magazines are bouncing back ahead of newspapers, projected to be down 5.8%, although Barclays had last predicted that both print platforms would suffer equally this year. Overall analyst Anthony J. DiClemente is expecting a 3.5% increase in total ad spending led by TV advertising, which is likely to get a boost from the recent Supreme Court ruling that removes limits on corporate political spending. Total ad sales for the year could reach $167.6 billion this year.

“While we expect modest aggregate growth for local media advertising in 2010, we also expect national advertising to outpace the growth of local advertising and take share from local overall,” DiClemente wrote in his report.

DiClemente says that companies simply have to come back into the marketplace to hawk their goods, and that almost all platforms will benefit. Radio will rebound from a previous estimate of -4% to 2.2%, again because of more political expenditures. Outdoor advertising will see some of the greatest improvement, up 6% over an earlier call for flat growth. And the Internet, both local and national, will gain 8.9%.

Barclays is the latest ad market prognosticator to revise upward its view of 2010 spending. Earlier this month Interpublic’s Magna group declared that overall ad spending for the year would decline only .1% compared to an earlier forecast of a 1.3% drop. For magazines, however, Magna maintained a more pessimistic view than Barclays, expecting a 7.3% decline.