By Joe Mandese, Published by MediaPost

The U.S. and worldwide ad economies are now projected to expand at their fastest rate ever, according to a consensus, as well as individual estimates released this morning by three of Madison Avenue’s leading forecasting units.

The new outlooks from IPG Mediabrands’ Magna, WPP’s GroupM, and Publicis Media’s Zenith units revises the ad growth consensus up more than three percentage points to +19.8% for the U.S., and up four percentage points to +17.1% for worldwide ad spending in 2021.

Moreover, the projected record ad expansion in 2021 comes on a more moderate consensus estimate for 2020’s U.S. and global ad recessions, which now stand at -2.0% and -3.8%, respectively.

“This year over 2019 is well above historical norms,” GroupM Business Intelligence Global President Brian Wieser said during an advance briefing with members of the press Friday, adding, “We’re creating a new plateau for future growth to occur.”

GroupM boosted its 2021 growth estimate for the U.S. up 6.2 percentage points to +22.7% from its last published estimate in June. GroupM boosted its 2021 growth estimate for worldwide ad spending up 3.3 percentage points to + 20.6%.

GroupM, however, was not the most aggressive upward revision. Magna revised its 2021 growth estimate for worldwide ad spending up 8.2 percentage points to 21.7% from the 13.5% rate it was projecting in its June forecast.

Magna Executive Vice President-Global Market Intelligence described the combined economic effects driving the record growth as a “once in a lifetime planetary realignment,” during an official ad forecast panel discussion this morning, as part of UBS’ annual “Media Week” conference. UBS analysts noted it was the 50th anniversary of the ad outlook panel.

“This is a ridiculously strong ad market,” GroupM’s Wieser added after Letang’s presentation, concuring with his “planetary realignment” characterization.

“I think this is possibly the fastest growing year ever in terms of the ad industry, and that is well worth noting,” he said, adding that he trolled through reams of historical data, including legendary Interpublic forecaster Bob Coen’s archives going back through the 1970s, and could not find a better growth rate.

US ad consensus effective December 2021

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